HISTORY OF ARCHBISHOP CURLEY HIGH SCHOOLArchbishop Curley High School was founded in the spring of 1960 under the leadership and direction of the late Archbishop Francis P. Keough. Designed by local architect Edward H. Glidden, the school was built on a 33-acre site on the northeast edge of the City of Baltimore, donated to the Archdiocese by local Philanthropist, Henry J. Knott.
The campus surrounds the main three-story building that contains classrooms, science labs, administrative, guidance, alumni and development offices, two computer centers, a closed-circuit TV station, and the guidance resource center. Attached to the central structure are six wings that house the chapel; auditorium; gymnasium; fintess center and wrestling facility; student dining room; the library multi-media center, conference center, and the Friary, which is the residence of the Franciscan Friars at Archbishop Curley. Two smaller wings house the instrumental music facilities and additional athletic facilities. Adjacent to the building are several athletic practice fields, the baseball, soccer and lacrosse playing fields, tennis courts and the football/track stadium bowl. Renovations completed in 2001 added a new comfort station and terraced seating to the Bowl.
The school is dedicated to Archbishop Michael J. Curley (1879-1947), who served as the tenth Archbishop of Baltimore from 1921 to 1947. It was the first Archdiocesan high school in Baltimore established for the education of young men. The school is accredited by the Maryland State Department of Education and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
Archbishop Curley High School opened its doors in September 1961 to a pioneer class of 420 freshmen. It was formally dedicated on April 17, 1962, by Lawrence Cardinal Shehan, the successor of the late Archbishop Keough.
In December of 1969, after extensive renovation, the Lawrence Cardinal Shehan Library and Multi-Media Instructional Center was dedicated. It was the first building in the Archdiocese of Baltimore to be dedicated to His Eminence, Cardinal Shehan (1898-1984) who had been a long time friend and supporter of Curley. The first Computer Center was dedicated by Bishop William Newman, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese and former Curley staff member, in September, 1984.
During the 1986-87 school year a building program added a new music center, concert practice room, weight training room, wrestling room and concession area to the Curley facilities. Further renovations provided a new faculty dining room, bookstore, conference room and offices for the development director, athletic director and Alumni Association. Since its first graduating class in June, 1965, Archbishop Curley has graduated more than five thousand young men. The recently graduated Class of 2009 was Curley's forty-fifth.
During the 2004-05 school year a $2 million renovation project was completed. Existing Friary space was demolished and a new living space was constructed for the Friars. A new library was completed on the second floor providing more linear resource space than the previous school library. A new conference center and School Board meeting room were added to the first floor adjacent to the school chapel. The existing library was converted into a state of the art fitness center complete with cardio-vascular and weight training equipment, office space for the athletic staff, and a professional facility for the athletic trainer. Also, the wrestling room was expanded and renovated. During this time, a new faculty resource room replaced the old Alumni office, a new campus store was added in place of the previous faculty lounge, and two science labs were renovated.
A $7 Million Capital Campaign "In Giving We Receive" was successfully completed in 2010 as a preparation for Curley's 50th Anniversary. Monies from this initiative funded the internal roadway and parking lot, the elevator, renovation of the SDR, Admissions Suite and Physics Lab and the Holthaus Center for the Arts, which was dedicated in April, 2010.
The 2010-11 School Year will be celebrated as Curley's Golden Anniversary with special events throughout the year. A history of Curley was written by Fr. Timothy Kulbicki OFM Conv '76 entitled Proudly Do We Hail Thee and will be available in November 2010.
The general operation and management of Archbishop Curley High School falls under the auspices of the School Board established by the Archbishop of Baltimore. The School Board has continued to entrust the administration of the school to the Franciscan Friars (Order of Friars Minor Conventual) of St. Anthony of Padua Province, who have assigned friars to the faculty and staff of the school since its inception. Dedicated lay teachers now comprise the majority of faculty and staff, including the first lay principal in the school's history.