HISTORIC ROCKNE HALL
Historic Rockne Hall has served as the center of activity for Allentown Central Catholic High School for over 80 years. It is an icon of the Lehigh Valley for athletic competition. On any given day, Rockne Hall is used by ACCHS students for competition, athletics, social gatherings and worship. A rich history of Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) championships as well as personal athletic accomplishments have occured within the walls of Rockne. Rockne Hall has also been "home" to other community organizations throughout the years such as the Allentown Jets of the Eastern Basketball Association, local CYO teams, Muhlenbergy College, WWF Professional wrestling and even weddings and concerts. Rockne Hall is a vital institution rooted in legacy and tradition that stretches from the ACCHS community to the Lehigh Valley and beyond.
FEB 1941 - Construction of Rockne Hall Begins
Total cost to build: $225,000.
Everyone took part in paying the bill, ACCHS students even contributed $221.48 in pennies. Rockne Hall required 500 tons of steel. The building included what were at the time the longest clear span steel trusses ever erected in Allentown. Six 99.5 ft. trusses were constructed to support the balconies. The 52 ft. columns that support the trusses are made from five tons of steel.
MAY 1941 - Cornerstone Blessing
Attended by 5,000 people.
Laying the corner stone of the new building was done by His Eminence, Cardinal Dougherty. The cornerstone reads: “For God and America in Honor of Knute Rockne, Champion of Youth and Immortal American.”
SEPT 1942 - Rockne Construction Completed
Rockne Hall was dedicated on Sunday, September 20, 1942. The building doubled the size of the school to include the gym arena, 12 new classrooms, a library, administrative office, labs, workshops and the cafeteria. Principal Monsignor Fink said ACCHS wanted to build the greatest scholastic auditorium in the state, one that would “not only be useful today, but would be adequate for the crowds of tomorrow.”
DEC 1942 - Knute Rockne Gift
Leo R. McIntyre of Notre Dame presents large a photograph of Knute Rockne to ACCHS, captioned “The Magic that Rockne gave Notre Dame, he will now share with you.” Knute Rockne was one of the most successful coaches in the history of college football, coaching Notre Dame during their golden era in the 1920s. Rockne won three undisputed national championships with the Fighting Irish, and helped to transform Notre Dame from an unknown program into the most popular college football team in the United States.
JULY 2016 - Rockne Hall Renovations
Renovations are currently underway and is expected to be completed by the start of school in August. Upgrades to Rockne Hall include brand new wood flooring, dedication of Mike Kopp Court, upgraded lighting, scoreboard and baskets, adding video and projection capabilities, new wall pads and painting to improve interior aesthetics and renovation of the weight/fitness room.
OCT 2016 - Rockne Hall Blessing by Bishop Barres
Allentown Central Catholic High School (ACCHS) campus renovations were completed in time for the opening of the 2016-2017 school year. On October 28, Bishop Barres was on hand to bless and dedicate a series of improvements and renovations designed to enrich the faith, and heighten academic and physical fitness, for ACCHS's estimated 800 students. The $400,000 renovations, made possible through private donors, include a new floor, new scoreboards, interior paint, LED scorer’s table, weight rooms and a large crucifix.