In the early 1900s the Sisters of Mercy were a strong presence in Cumberland and Northern Rhode Island, staffing parish schools, CCD programs and training young women in their novitiate years at Mount Saint Rita. In the 1940s three families - the Costellos, McLaughlins and the Morans- realizing the need for a Catholic elementary school in the northern Cumberland area appealed to the Sisters to address the spiritual and educational needs of the day.
The Sisters purchased the Aldrich property on Wrentham Road and the work of converting the original house to a school soon began. On September 13, 1948, Mercymount Country Day School opened with 72 girls and boys in grades kindergarten through grade 2. Three Sisters of Mercy were their teachers with Sister Pierre Donnelly also serving as the principal .
In 1952 the school grew to include the nearby Swift Estate.This included a barn that was used for a gym and for many school events. Unfortunately, the barn was destroyed by fire in 1954. That same year the school graduated its first (and only)class of 9th graders. Moving forward, graduation from 8th grade was initiated.
As the enrollment increased it became clear that a modern building was needed to better meet the needs of the students. Numerous fundraising activities, especially those of the newly formed Mothers’ Club, greatly helped to support this ambitious building project. Groundbreaking ceremonies were held in 1959 and the new two-story building opened its doors in 1960 with Sister Francis Lynch as principal.
In 2004 ground was broken again for a new addition and the renovation of existing facilities. Building on Excellence, the Mercymount Capital Campaign, raised approximately $1.27 million for the project. Construction took about 20 months with the new McAuley Wing opening in November 2005, additional renovations were completed the following year.The addition included new rooms for art, computer,music resource as well as two new classrooms and a new office suite. A stunning state-of-the-art Library/Media Center is at the center of McAuley Hall.
As the enrollment continued to increase and new educational methods developed, the need to expand the Middle School area became apparent. Plans for an addition to be built above the existing cafeteria were set in motion. Opening in August 2011, this new Middle School facility, Founders Hall, comprises four classrooms, including a double science laboratory with an outdoor greenhouse patio, a computer lab, a small chapel and an elevator.
Blessed on September 8, 2011 by Bishop Thomas Tobin, the Middle School addition was named Founders Hall. It honors the women leaders who have brought Mercymount Country Day School to the forefront of Catholic education in Northern Rhode Island. Three principals who have led the school through significant physical transformations were honored:Sister Pierre Donnelly, who opened the school in 1948; Sister Francis Lynch, who led the building of the original brick building that opened in 1960; and Sister Martha Mulligan who guided the school through the building of two additions in 2006 and 2011.
Since 1948 Mercymount Country Day School has been blessed with dedicated faculty, supportive parents and enthusiastic, compassionate graduates who continue to make significant contributions to the global community!