In 1916, Youngstown was still part of the Diocese of Cleveland. On July 27,1916, the Youngstown Vindicator announced that Bishop John P Farrelly, Bishop of Cleveland, had purchased 2 3/4 acres of property on Youngstown’s north side for a new parish. The north side had been growing rapidly and expanding further away from downtown and St. Columba Church. The lot included 454 feet of frontage on Tod Lane, planned for a church , and 280 feet fronting Ohio Avenue, planned for a school. The cost of the land was $26,000 (2017 equivalent is $609,000).

Shortly thereafter, Father Maurice Griffin, assistant to Father Edward Mears, pastor of St. Columba parish, was appointed pastor of the new parish. Father Griffin quickly appointed a Parish Council and plans were made to build the school first. Charles F. Owsley was selected as the architect and Moore-Lamb Construction was chosen to build the new school, at a cost of roughly $100,000 (equivalent to $2,344,000 in 2017).

In accordance with Canon Law, on April 23, 1917, Father Griffin and all of the priests of the city gathered to bless the ground and raise the American flag on the site. Father Edward Mears then turned the first spadeful of earth . The new school was named St. Edward, in honor of St. Edward the Confessor (1003 – 1066), King of England.