In February of 1995, Reverend Patrick J. Caverly, V.G., pastor of the Church of the Annunciation, and a group of parishioners took on the challenge of starting a new school. “The Promise and the Dream” campaign was kicked off to fund the construction of Annunciation Catholic Academy. Richard SanGiovanni, a parishioner, was hired as the architect in February of 1995.
The mission and philosophy of the school were determined early in the spring so that all subsequent decisions could be made in light of what had been decided as the parish’s vision for the school.
Two kindergarten classes were started in leased modular classrooms in the fall of 1995, and a full K-8 school opened in the fall of 1996. Dr. Margaret E. Curran was selected as principal by Father Caverly at the beginning of October of 1995.
The official groundbreaking ceremony was held with Bishop Norbert M. Dorsey, C.P., on December 16, 1995. A stated campaign goal of $5 million for the construction of the school and renovation of the church was reached before the end of December 1995.
Hundreds of people attended the orientation sessions in January 1996. By the end of the registration period, it was decided that there were sufficient students to open three kindergarten classes, two each of grades 1 to 6, one of grade 7, and one of grade 8. Waiting lists were immediately started in most grade levels.
Teachers were interviewed and hired during the spring of 1996, many of whom were parishioners. Along with Father Caverly, Bill Orosz, chair of the advisory board, and Mark McLaughlin, director of operations for the parish, continued to oversee all aspects of the project. They also met regularly with Dr. Curran concerning staffing, the budget, and purchases of furniture, texts, and equipment. The school was designed to be highly technological, based on educational goals and objectives.
In 1907, St. Martin of Tours Church was constructed on 22nd Street and Scovill Avenue in Cleveland. The stained glass windows in the church were supplied under a contract with George-Boos Studios in Munich, Germany. In 1957, the church was scheduled for demolition because it was located in the path of the new Innerbelt Freeway. The Administrator of St. Martin of Tours Church called Mr. Poremba, an authority on stained glass and the owner of Poremba Stained Glass Studio, Inc. in Cleveland. He was asked to remove two windows from the church before it was wrecked. As Mr. Poremba removed these windows, he noticed the other magnificent windows in the church and inquired about them. He was advised that the church was moving and did not want the windows. The church was to be demolished in a few days. Mr. Poremba immediately contacted Monsignor Evanko of St. Martin of Tours church, to ask if he could remove the windows before the demolition. Monsignor Evanko gave Mr. Poremba permission to remove the windows. The windows became the property of Poremba Stained Glass Studio, Inc. in Cleveland where the widows remained in storage.When the Academy was being built in 1995, the collector offered a panel of the windows to Monsignor Caverly, and the Media Center was designed to highlight them.
Construction of the building was completed in July, a month before schedule. Classes began for grades K through 8 on September 1, 1996, just 18 months after Father Caverly asked a small group of parishioners if they felt there was interest in starting a school!