Beaumont celebrated 70 years in its current Cleveland Heights location in 2012, but the origins of the school date to 1850, making it the oldest school in the Cleveland Diocese and the oldest all-girls secondary school in greater Cleveland.
On September 9, 1850, four Ursuline Nuns and a lay woman emigrated from France at the invitation of Cleveland Bishop Louis Amadeus Rappe. The women opened the doors of their school at 50 Euclid Avenue to welcome 300 eager girls. Four years later November 28, 1854, the State of Ohio granted a charter authorizing the congregation, as the Ursuline Academy of Cleveland, to function as an association for the education of young women.
With increased commercialization of Euclid Avenue, Ursuline Academy moved to a second location, an English-Gothic structure at East 55th Street and Scovill Avenue in Cleveland. The Academy thrived from 1893 until 1941. By mid-century, the Sisters were facing a growing need for more space, as well as a request from the Federal Government need for the property. The Ursuline Sisters sold the structure and land and began a search for another location.
On February 21, 1942, Maude Painter, wife of the deceased financier, Kenyon V. Painter, agreed to sell her Cleveland Heights mansion and property to the Ursuline Sisters for use as an educational facility. The 27-acre property, bounded by North Park, Fairmount Boulevard and Lee Road included a 65-room mansion, a six-car garage, trophy room, aviary, and staff living quarters.
The school was renamed Beaumont School for Girls in tribute to the Ursulines' first Cleveland Superior, Mother Mary of the Annunciation Beaumont, and opened in September 1942. One hundred students attended classes in the mansion, which also served as living quarters for the nuns. Additional space for the sophomores was created in 1943 with the renovation of the Painter aviary.
With the country at war, all major building projects came to an abrupt halt. However, 1944 did see the addition of a temporary four-room building to accommodate the freshmen. It was replaced in the late 50's by a permanent structure, which today comprises the science wing. In March of 1964, the new main building was completed, providing classroom space for 540 students, a gymnasium, dining room, chapel and administrative offices. The former aviary and trophy room now houses the Fine Arts Department. In September 1979, the mansion, aviary, and banquet hall were designated as an official Cleveland Heights landmark.
Through the years a thriving athletic program led to the addition of Conway Field, built in 1994. This field is used by the track and field, soccer, and softball teams. As technology became a vital part of the educational process, Beaumont launched a major initiative in 1998 for school-wide fiber optic wiring, computer networking and comprehensive integration of technology across the curriculum.
In January 2003, the Board of Directors of Beaumont School approved the construction of a new $5 million Spiritual Life Center destined to be the hub of student spiritual, academic and social activities and the first major addition to the campus since 1964. Ground was broken on May 29, 2003 and Beaumont celebrated the ribbon-cutting and dedication of the new Spiritual Life Center on April 22, 2004.
Renovation of the athletic facilities was completed in December 2006 and included an aerobic room, weight room, new change rooms, offices, refinished gymnasium floor and retractable stands.
In early 2009, Beaumont School's Board of Directors approved the purchase of the Painter Mansion and its 8-acre parcel from the Ursuline Sisters, giving Beaumont School total ownership of the first school on the property, the current school and the 21 acres “behind the wall.”
The Board of Directors then authorized a Master Campus Plan conducted by Bowie Gridley Architects that was completed in June of 2009, establishing a long term vision for future development of Beaumont School.
From 2011 to 2012, a renovation of the school’s Courtyard took place, including new landscaping, and the addition of a labyrinth, student seating areas, and a commissioned statue of St. Angela. The dedication ceremony was scheduled for May 21, 2012.
With aging science facilities in the main school building, Beaumont broke ground in September 2013 on a new addition to the school building that will include eight science lab/classrooms, administrative offices, and a new student commons. The building opened for use in January 2015.
The Master Campus Plan builds upon the existing facilities at Beaumont and includes strategic new developments and the renovation of vacated space. The Plan will have an equally strong impact on the life of the school and its students.