Notre Dame Catholic High School History
Notre Dame High School was opened in September 1958, when there was a need for a Catholic school, where black Catholics could attend. Notre Dame Catholic High school was built and given to the church in the fall of 1958 by Mr. and Mrs. Paul F. O’Brien Sr. of Shreveport. The school was dedicated on December 7th of 1958.
Notre Dame School located at 2932 Murphy Street on a 10-acre tract of partly wooded land lying between Arkansas and Alabama Avenues and Murphy and Ashton Streets in the Lakeside community of Shreveport was completed in the fall of 1958 at a cost of about $300,000. It was built and furnished by Mr. and Mrs. O’Brien and has been given to the Alexandria diocese of the Catholic Church to be operated by nuns of the Order of the Holy Ghost. It was the only Catholic High School for Negroes in Louisiana north of Alexandria. Construction began on the one-story brick building in 1957.
Designed by Neil-Somdal and Associates, the one story two-winged structure is made of steel, brick, and concrete. The classroom wing is fully equipped with eight classrooms, a library, offices, waiting rooms, teacher’s lounge, and is fully equipped with facilities for science, home economics, music, typing, and commercial studies. The other wing is separate for kitchens and combined cafeteria and multi-purpose rooms. A covered outdoor passageway connects both wings.
A feature of the modernistic structure is a sky-dome roof for a maximum amount of natural light in the classrooms. The school is also equipped with fluorescent lighting.
Paul O’Brien, a prominent Catholic layman who had an active part in many community enterprises as well as church work hopes to soon add a convention center, a gymnasium, a playground and other recreational facilities to the school grounds.
Other contributions to the school include a complete intercom system donated by Howard Crumley of Crumley Chevrolet Company, a set of Encyclopedia Americana for the school library by W.H. Bronson president and editor of the Shreveport Times and a World Book set of encyclopedias donated by Mr. and Mrs. Herman Selber.
The school opened September 15th, 1958 with 130 pupils in grades seven through nine, according to principal, Sister Mary Lucy. A grade was added each year until the school reached the twelfth grade.
The building was planned to accommodate 300 students.
Other teachers were Sisters Mary Ferdinand: Home Room, Eighth and Ninth Grade Religion. Mary Sabina: Home Room and Seventh Grade. Mrs. W.E. Hicks: English and Voice. Hosie Sanders: Mathematics and Science. Mrs. J. Washington: Home Economics. Sister Mary Lucy also taught Foreign Language. Mr. Isaac Greggs volunteered as the Music Teacher and Band Director.