History of IHM School Belmont
Soon after Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish was established, Msgr. John Kenny and his parishioners undertook the commitment to open a Catholic school to serve the children of the parish. In October 1952, the school of the Immaculate Heart of Mary opened to educate students in grades 1 – 6. Originally, the school building occupied the space known as St. James Hall, formerly Sierra Hall, where Sunrise Assisted Living stands today. Three years later, in 1955, the seventh and eighth grades were added and moved into what is now the Kindergarten/Extended Care building, a structure that dates back to 1913.
Our present school building was started in late 1961 and opened in October 1962. Archbishop Joseph T. McGucken blessed the building on May 4, 1963. The Sisters of Notre Dame staffed the school from 1952 to 1984. In 1984, for the first time in the history of the school, a lay principal, Miss Margaret Purcell, was hired to lead the school. With a whole lay faculty in place, the school set out on a new journey. The goal was to keep the school true to its philosophy and continue in the tradition of excellence established by the Sisters of Notre Dame.
A school board was established in 1987. To meet the needs of working parents, an Extended Day Care program was established in 1988. To involve more parents, a Parents Club was started in 1991. Improvements to the building included the extension of the school library in 1970; a computer lab designed to fit in the basement in 1993, and remodeled bathrooms for grades 1-8, which created access from inside the main building, in 1998. A new parish center was added and blessed in December of 2003. The parish center contains a gym, a kindergarten and an extended care room. The old Extended Care and Kindergarten rooms were remodeled during the 2004-2005 school year and opened as a Science Room and Multipurpose Room in September 2005.
The Immaculate Heart of Mary School has continued to flourish until the present day in an atmosphere that cherishes Christian values, love for the students, and commitment to excellence.