St. Xavier’s Collegiate School, a boys’ school, founded in 1860 by the Jesuits, was named after St. Francis Xavier, a Jesuit saint of the 16th century. The founder of the school is Fr. Henri Depelchin, who oversaw most of the groundwork, during its early years. It is interesting to note that, the campus of St. Xavier’s School and College was built on the ashes of Sans Souci Theatre, located at 30, Park Street. In 1843, when Sans Souci was burnt to the ground, the site was bought by seven Belgian Jesuits for the construction of this educational institute.
During the early days, there was a paucity of funds for expansion work in classrooms and to accommodate the Jesuits fathers. On behalf of the rector, an appeal to the public for generous donation and assistance was published in the newspapers in 1864, and it was responded well by the well-wishers. Apart from that, Fr Depelchin and his assistant and Br. Koppes, the builder tried their best and went around collecting funds.
The construction of the present imposing five-storied building of the Institution was completed in six years, from 1934 to 1940. The cost of the construction was collected partly from the public of Calcutta, assistance from Belgium, and the rental received from the American army that occupied the building during the Second World War.
There are two buildings of the school, for the Primary section and the Secondary section, which are separated by a street in between. The secondary school building, the College building and one of the College hostels are within the campus.
The school prepares students for the ICSE and ISC examinations and offers various sports facilities to them.
The expansion programme of the school is still on, with a new campus slated to come up in Salt Lake City and a second boys’ hostel not far from the existing one.