The Charlottesville Catholic School came into being as a result of the dedication of a small group of local parents who wanted a Catholic education for their children. The school opened its doors in the fall of 1996 with three teachers and 32 children in kindergarten, first, and second grades.
Classes were held in space rented from the Congregation Beth Israel on East Jefferson Street in downtown Charlottesville across the street from Holy Comforter Church (We were probably the only Catholic school in the nation located in a Jewish synagogue). The downtown location allowed the small school to take advantage of the public library, local public park, and Holy Comforter Church for Mass.
Dedicated to adding a new grade each year, the school quickly outgrew the space available in the temple. Another temporary location was found at 200 Four Seasons Drive in a building which had been recently vacated by the Atlantic Coast Athletic Club (ACAC). In September 1998, the school opened at its new location with 105 students in kindergarten through fourth grade. The new location provided increased parking, outdoor play space, and a multipurpose room for assemblies and Masses. The added space also facilitated the addition of art, music, and physical education teachers and allowed the beginning of the school’s own library. The following year, 1999, the school added a fifth grade and for the first time added two classes of kindergarten. The popularity of the school continued to grow, with waiting lists developing for several of the classes.
After a lengthy search and with the support of the Diocese, the Charlottesville Catholic School secured its permanent site with the purchase of twenty acres of farm land adjacent to Pen Park on East Rio Road just outside the Charlottesville City limits. On October 23, 1999, Bishop Walter F. Sullivan presided over the ground breaking ceremony for the permanent home of the Charlottesville Catholic School.
Our Permanent Home opened in the fall of 2001. It has room to accommodate two classes of each grade from kindergarten through eighth grade as well as preschool classrooms. The new building opened to children in grades K-7. The Saint Dunstan Chapel was completed in January 2002 and served as a prayerful gathering place for up to two classes of children. A multipurpose building was completed in 2003 which provided gym space as well as an expanded place for school-wide gatherings.
In 2007 our lower garden level was completed providing a purpose-built lunch facility as well as a new IT lab, art and music rooms.
We are blessed to have such a wonderful facility here in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia.