MORRIS – The first Immaculate Conception School in Morris was built under the direction of the Rev. Lawrence Meehan who served as pastor from 1889 to 1901.
“It was originally built back in the 1800s,” Principal Kim DesLauriers said. “The Sisters of the Holy Cross were involved in it, and there was a local book written about it that we keep in our library.”
Church history said Meehan realized the need for a new school and he directed the building of a Byzantine style structure to replace the classrooms of the old building that served as a church.
The new school was staffed by the Holy Cross Sisters of St. Mary’s of Notre Dame, IN.
The school received what was cited as a “magnificent gift of money,” from Patrick Kenrick, a bachelor and one of the pioneer settlers of the county, according to “The History of Immaculate Conception Parish,” edited by Rita Boma.
The parish was able to build a two-story building for $15,000 with classrooms on the first floor and Kenrick Hall on the second floor.
The current Immaculate Conception School was built in 1962 under Father Lloyd Bowden complete with classrooms, which were able to receive educational television at the cost of $265,000, according to the history book.
The original school was converted into a gymnasium and auditorium.