Address: 33 Petrova Avenue
Old Address: Petrova Avenue
Other names: North Star Industries, Hhott House
Year built: Late 1950's
St. Pius X was Saranac Lake's parochial high school, designed by Sargeant, Webster, Crenshaw and Folley, one of the largest architectural firms in the Northeast. St. Pius X High School opened its doors to students in the fall of 1959. Dedication of the school took place on October 18, 1959 with Bishop James Navagh and Monsignor V. Noel Zimmerman leading the ceremony. The first principal was Sr. Mary Constance and other principals included Sr. Mary Bernadine, Sr. Mary Julia, and Sr. Kathleen Marie. The first senior class graduated in June 1962. In 1962 the first Valedictorian of the school was Jeanne Miner and the first Salutatorian was Tom Harrigan. St. Pius also has a tradition of an annual Father Daughter dance that began in November 1963. The school also had a Father of the Year award and winners included Alvin Skeels, Joseph Drutz, Daniel Kaestle, Gerard Wegman, Andrew Fortune, Joseph Martin, Lyman Lawrence. A new wing to the school opened in 1963.
In May 1967 the annual dance became known as the Father Daughter and Mother Son dance. A Mother of the Year award began in 1967 and winners included Mildred Kunath, Virginia Mason, and Margaret Wolfe. In 1967 the Snowshoe Marching Band made their first appearance directed by Sr. Thaddeus.
As the years go by many stories are told by former students about their interaction with the faculty that included such people as Sr. Mercedes, Sr. Martin, Sr. Noreen, Sr. Eulalia, Sr. Helen, Sr. Esther, and Sr. DeNeri in addition to the Sisters mentioned above. Priests on the faculty included Fr. Philip Allen, Fr. John Darcy, Fr. Joseph Sestito, and Fr. Paul LaRocque.
Academics in the classroom prepared many students for future endeavors as they entered adulthood. St. Pius had well respected Debate Teams and Forensic Speaking Teams in the 1960's and they entered many competitions throughout the North Country. Athletics was a source of pride for the school as students participated in sports such as football, basketball, skiing, baseball, track, and lacrosse. Sporting event highlights include Tim Smart scoring over 1,000 points in his four year basketball career, and Tim also set a Catholic League record scoring 51 points in a game against St. Mary's of Champlain. In March 1966 the basketball team won the Catholic League championship in a narrow victory over Holy Ghost Academy from Tupper Lake. In October 1960 St. Pius X earned their first ever football victory by a score of 12-0 over Beekmantown. In November 1961 the gymnasium was used for basketball games for the first time.
Tom Clark says that the school was 7th - 12th grade, with 200-300 students. He graduated from St. Pius in 1966. His graduating class was about 36 students. They scrimmaged Saranac Lake High School twice in basketball and beat them both times. Twice while Tom was playing baseball, Saranac Lake beat St. Pius at baseball by one run each time.
Attendance declined, and the last class to graduate was in June 1971, after which the school closed. It was then leased by North Country Community College. It is now [in 2010] and has been for many years, North Star Industries, a sheltered workshop, with the Hhott House, a greenhouse, which sells plant materials to the public.
2012-01-23 13:58:26 Many great memories from that building and mostly from our football field in the back with lots of dirt and rocks when we first started. Thomas D. Crowley Class of 1964 —126.96.36.199
2013-02-19 08:26:51 The first year of the annual rugby tournament in Saranac Lake the finals were played on the St. Pius X athletic field. —188.8.131.52