At the beginning of the 1951-1952 school year St. Mary’s High School, the Ursulin Academy for Girls and St. Thomas Home boarding school came together to form the co-educational Great Falls Central Catholic High School. Great Falls Central graduated it first class in 1952. The new school was located 2400 Central Ave. The original teaching and administrative staff consisted of Diocese priests, the Sisters of Providence , Ursulin Sisters, and the Sisters of Humility with very few lay instructors. Catholic K-8 schools in Great Falls consisting of St. Josephs, Peter and Paul, Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Gerards, and Blessed Trinity, as well as the Ursulin and St. Thomas K-8 schools provided students to GFCCHS. At its peak, GFCCHS had in excess of 800 students enrolled in the four grades. After Charles M. Russell High School opened in 1965 Central experienced a gradual drop in enrollment. Also, in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s the number of priests and sisters available to teach at Central decreased. In 1973, due to financial concerns, Bishop Eldon Schuster painfully chose to close GFCCHS after graduation that year. Several years later the Diocese sold the GFCCHS building to the Great Falls Public Schools which later housed Paris Gibson Middle School and currently, the Great Falls Education Center.
In 1995, a group of parents began the discussion of reopening Great Falls Central. After several meetings, the group approached Bishop Anthony Malone about reopening the school. The process took approximately four years and in the fall of 1999, with the blessing of the Bishop, the plan to reopen GFCCHS was put into action. The University of Great Falls was approached and asked to house the new high school for the 2000-2001 school. UGF agreed to provide two classrooms in the McLaughlin Center for use by the school. In January 2000, GFCCHS hired its new principal, the initial school board was formed, the first group of teachers were hired and the recruiting of students to fill the 9th and 10th grade classes began. Great Falls Central opened its doors in August 2000 with 25 students. During the next two years the 11th and 12th grade classes were developed with the first graduating class in 2003. In the fall of 2006 approval was given by the Diocese to design and begin construction on the new GFCCHS building. Central remained at UGF until the beginning of the 2007-2008 school year when the school moved to the new GFCCHS building located at 2800 18th Ave South. Enrollment in the high school has grown each year with the current enrollment at 126 students. Great Falls Central continues to provide a faith based, college prep secondary education that stresses a strong Catholic identity, academic rigor, a safe and structured learning environment, and service and extra-curricular opportunities. Central is accredited by the Board of Public Education of the State of Montana and the Western Catholic Education Association.