The first school, built in 1884, was remodeled and turned into a Sisters’ house and a place for school children to board. At the time, the school had only seven grades. The 8th grade and three years of high school were added in 1909 and a fourth year added into 1910. In May 1923, it was decided to build a new High School and Sisters’ Convent.
The sisters moved into the basement of the grade school to permit the razing of the old convent by the parishioners. By January 16, 1924, the building was completed and the sisters took possession of it on February 9. This building was dedicated on May 29. In 1929, a porch was built over the rear entrance to the Sister’s Convent. In the fall of 1938, the old boarder’s dormitory on the second floor of the Sisters’ Convent was made into a library for St. Francis High School. In the fall of 1943, four inches of rock wool was used to insulate the entire ceiling area of the Sisters’ Convent and High School at a cost of $604.80.
In March of 1954, 50 men of the parish painted all the rooms in the high school. Bad weather forced some to leave the job early, but enough stayed to finish the job. In 1966, a high school with auditorium was built and classes were moved from the Sisters’ Convent. Now that the high school was out of the convent, there was a lot of empty space. A plan was devised to convert some of this space into private rooms for the Sisters, who had been sleeping in a semi-dormitory style for years. On February 11, 1968, the work was completed and an open house was held. In appreciation, the Sisters consented to allow the high school to establish a manual arts course in the basement of the convent.
In August 1971, a new roof was put on the east side of the convent. On October 31, 1980, work began on the boiler in the convent and a used boiler was installed there on November 18th. As time progressed, the number of Sisters living in the convent significantly decreased. In 1984, the convent was the subject of debate after several years. One plan was to tear it down and build a retirement home on the spot, but the parish rejected this plan. Then there was a plan to build a new home on the east edge of the practice football field, but this was also rejected.
On February 12, the parish voted 467 to 141 to repair the existing building. The second floor was closed off and all rooms were on the first floor. insulation was blown into the ceiling between the two floors and applied to the outer walls as well. A front parlor was turned into a very nice chapel and stations were added. The Sisters moved into their new quarters on April 16th. Much for the cost was donated, as was all the work. An auction of surplus furniture from the convent was held on May 27th, preceded by an open house, which raised $5,077, enough to pay for the rest of the expenses.
In August 1985, a local chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous was formed and a room in the convent was fixed up as a meeting room for them and other groups to meet. Several rooms in the basement became storage areas. Other rooms were used by the craft ladies and the CCD program. With the new millennium, the parish and school only had one retired nun living in the convent. The cost of heat, repairs to the roof and bringing the building up to new codes was deemed too much. After years of debate, questioning, and brainstorming, it was decided to tear down the existing building with the land to become a play area for the school children. On Sunday, June 30, 2002, an auction was held to sell any stored items and the buildings’ windows, doors, cabinets, etc. for salvage. The money raised from the auction and the Parish Council food stand, along with a special collection, paid the demolition cost.
Work began in August and was completed shortly after the school year started. This is now the site of Little Saints Daycare.