we reflect on all that has transpired over the past 50 years, it has been a
remarkable and unpredictable journey for our resilient school.”
Leo P. Hyland, President, CCC
In December of 1968, at a time when our nation and city were roiling with many forms of social upheaval and transition, the Diocese of Cleveland made a bold and surprising announcement. Four parish high schools, St. Stanislaus, St. Michael the Archangel, Our Lady of Lourdes and St. John Cantius, would join together to form a new school – and Cleveland Central Catholic High School (CCC) was created.
The following school year (1969-70), with the concept that students and faculty would rotate from one campus to another with regularity, the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland opened CCC with over 1,600 students. CCC maintained all four school buildings in a unique four-campus facility that emphasized the relative strengths of each founding school facility and celebrated the diversity of the students.
The next 25 years were filled with successes and disappointments as CCC struggled to address the challenges facing many urban Catholic schools. With decreasing enrollment and increasing operating expenses, three of the campuses were closed – Our Lady of Lourdes, 1976; St. John Cantius, 1988; and St. Michael's, 2003 - completing the transition into a one-campus school with all activities on the St. Stanislaus "Forman Campus" in Slavic Village.
During the ensuing years, in cooperation with the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, Central Catholic successfully completed a $13 million capital campaign. This campaign added over 25,000 square feet of new construction that includes new classrooms and labs, meeting space, a chapel, and a gymnasium. The new addition to the school opened in 2006. The campaign also increased the school’s endowment fund, which helps fund academic scholarships and tuition assistance for those with demonstrated financial need.
Through a partnership with the City of Cleveland, the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland and the Third Federal Foundation, Central Catholic opened a new athletic facility in 2010. A new football and track stadium, named Ben Stefanski, II Stadium, was dedicated in September of 2010. In addition, areas for softball and track and field events were renovated. These improvements also opened up the campus, so that the school’s entryway now faces bustling Broadway Avenue.
In June 2018, CCC completed the Beacon of Hope campaign, raising over $5.7 million to address long-standing facility challenges, increase the school’s endowment, bolster our special education program, and complete the facilities at Stefanski Stadium .