Old Heelan Demolition Underway

Old Heelan Coming Down
Posted on 07/13/2020
Demolition is set to start soon on the brick structure of old Bishop Heelan High School. It’s expected to take up to two weeks to raze the building, built in 1948-49. Asbestos removal has been completed and demolition crews have torn out windows and cleaned out interior debris in the past several weeks.

The 70-year-old building opened for classes in fall 1949, following the closure of Trinity High School for boys and Cathedral High School for girls. Heelan made history as the first coed high school supported by multiple parishes in the Diocese of Sioux City. 

The high school building was in use till last December when the new O’Gorman Fieldhouse was completed in the new high school. School leaders have saved artifacts and much of the wood from the gymnasium floor of the Pit for memorabilia items.

Bricks and sections of the gym floor are being saved for alumni and should be available sometime in fall.

Some 14,000 Heelan alumni were educated in the old school. Consideration to renovate and use the building for other purposes was too costly.

“Our old high school was the site of countless golden memories for our alumni,” said Fr. Shane Deman, Heelan Chaplain and a 1999 graduate educated in the old high school. “We are grateful for our history and also for our new high school that is far better equipped for today’s students and faculty.” 

When demolition is completed, the ground will be seeded by the Diocese, which owns the property.

The Heelan CYO remains. It houses the high school fitness center, a practice gymnasium, wrestling room, preschools for Sacred Heart School and the Dual Language Academy and a maintenance facility.
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