St. Viator School was started in 1902, 14 years after the Clerics of St. Viator founded the St. Viator Parish. Father Thomas McCormick, the pastor of the parish at that time, chose the Sisters of St. Joseph to be the teachers in the school. At the beginning, there were 40 school children taught by two sisters.
At first, the school was a modest building located near the parish's frame church. But in 1910, the original part of the present school building was built. The church was on the first floor, and the classrooms were on the second and third floors. From 1916 until 1924, the Sisters of St. Joseph also ran a girls' high school in the school building. In 1929, when the present Church was dedicated, the entire building became an elementary school that had an enrollment of about 800 students.
In the late 1950’s, construction began on a new recreation center on the north end of the campus. Throughout the following decades, thousands of students and community members used gym and meeting rooms for athletic competitions, school dances, the famed St. Viator Haunted House, and “Open Gym” nights. In 2014, the Recreation Center was named in honor of Fr. Edward Cardinal, C.S.V., who served as St. Viator’s Pastor when the center was built. Also in 2014, the actual gym was named the “Gary Galati Gymnasium” in honor of parent Gary Galati’s 30+ years of service to the St. Viator Athletic Association.
Although enrollment is no longer at 800 students, the 3-story school building still operates at a high capacity as it now houses a language lab where students can choose from 24 foreign languages through the Rosetta Stone program, a music room, a technology lab for individual computer-based learning, as well as rooms dedicated to the Fine Arts program (Art Zone), a Science Lab, Reading Enrichment, Title I instruction, and other areas for specialized educational resources.
No matter how things have changed over the years, one thing remains constant. St. Viator School is, and always will be, guided by Father McCormick's belief that setting high standards for education is an utmost priority.