Saint Joseph School was completed and dedicated in July of 1952. This was only two years after Saint Joseph had been named a parish in the Harrisburg Diocese. The School Sisters of Notre Dame opened the school in the fall of 1952, and classrooms were added in 1956 and 1962. Enrollment continued to increase and in 1976 modular units to be used as classrooms were placed in the parking lot to accommodate the increasing number of students. The same year, the Sisters of Saints Cyril and Methodius came to staff the school and continue to care for the religious and educational needs of the children.
The Catholic population in Mechanicsburg continued to grow, and in 1977 Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish was established. This did not solve the overcrowding conditions at Saint Joseph’s, however. In 1981, a new church was built, and the old structure was converted into a social hall and gymnasium. In 1982, the Brindle Hall cafeteria was converted into six new classrooms and the modular units were discontinued. In 1988, Bishop Keeler established Saint Katharine Drexel Parish in Silver Spring Township.
In order to keep pace with the ever-changing face of education, the Saint Joseph Parish Life and Education Center welcomed its first students to school in August, 2005. This $8.1 million, 62,000 square foot facility offers both school students and parishoners a wonderful opportunity to grow and learn. The state-of-the-art building features 23 classrooms, specialty rooms for Music, Art, and Library, along with Computer and Science Labs. Our gymnasium/all-purpose room offers occupancy up to 600, and the cafeteria features a fully-equipped kitchen and seating for up to 250 people. Each room offers telephone service and television hook-up with VCR and/or DVD.
Saint Joseph School has served children of all faiths from local communities since 1952. From the beginning, Saint Joseph has met the challenges of making room for a growing population. Although the bricks and mortar have changed over the past decades, the heart and soul of the school remain the same – a commitment to providing an affordable, faith-based education. Saint Joseph School continues to serve the children of all three parishes in Mechanicsburg as a joint school. It consists of preschool, kindergarten (both full and half-day sessions are offered), and grades one through eight.