About Bishop Kenny
Bishop Kenny High School has served the young people of northeast Florida for more than fifty years. Since its founding in 1952, Bishop Kenny has earned a proud reputation not only for academic excellence and a winning athletic program, but also for the many ways that our students reach out in service to the community. We are proud of our history and traditions but more importantly, we celebrate our commitment to the Gospel values that are the cornerstone of all that happens on our campus each day.
Bishop Kenny High School
1055 Kingman Avenue
Jacksonville, FL 32207
In 1952, Archbishop Joseph P. Hurley, with the help of the Catholic Community in Jacksonville, initiated the consolidation of three Catholic high schools to form one diocesan high school. Named Central Catholic High School, the school was re-dedicated in 1953 in honor of Bishop William J. Kenny, the first American-born bishop of the Diocese of St. Augustine (Click HERE for detailed information About Bishop William J. Kenny).
The location of Bishop Kenny High School was once the site of a Spanish fortress. In more modern times the property served as a shipyard during World War I. After coming into the hands of the Diocese of St. Augustine, it was determined that it would be the ideal site for a Catholic High School designed to serve approximately 400 students from Jacksonville and surrounding areas. The original facilities were expanded during the school's first year of operation with the construction of the library and cafetorium. As enrollment continued to grow it was decided that the construction of a girl's wing was warranted. In 1960, ground was broken and the facility now referred to as the West building was begun. The project was completed in 1964.
The gymnasium, which has since been renamed in honor of Coach John Baldwin, was completed and dedicated in October of 1961. At the time of its opening it was lauded as "The largest high school gymnasium in the city and one of the best in the state". The 1970's also saw growth on the Bishop Kenny campus with the addition of the William Johnston football stadium, bleachers, press box, concession stands, classroom air conditioning, and enhanced library. As the computer era was ushered into the classroom, a computer lab and updated curriculum were added to the school.
In 1989, Father Michael Houle was named President of the school after having served as the Director of Development at the Pontifical College Josephinum for three years. Father Houle, who himself is a Bishop Kenny graduate of the class of 1971, had also previously served as a member of the BK religion faculty for seven years. Under his leadership the school has undergone dramatic changes and additions which continue even today.
The first capital campaign of the 1990's was the Bishop Kenny Renovation and Expansion Fund, which resulted in the construction of the Fine Arts building, which was dedicated in 1992. This was the first major building constructed on campus since the completion of the west wing in 1964. At the same time major renovations were made to existing buildings. Today virtually every corner of the campus has been renovated and four more major buildings have been added. They are the 400, 500, 600 buildings and the jewel of all of the projects completed since 1989, the Bishop Paul F. Tanner Chapel, which sits prominently at the entrance to the campus. In all, more than 8.5 million dollars have been raised and invested in improvements at the school over the past ten years