Villa Maria was established in 1892 as an all-girls school by the Sisters of St. Joseph. It is the oldest Catholic high school in Erie. It was originally was located at 8th and Liberty Streets before being moved in 1954. The school became coeducational in 1989. On January 8, 2009 Villa announced it will merge with Cathedral Preparatory School because of financial issues and no longer accept male students. Villa will return to all girls but allow current males that are already attending to stay until graduation. In the 2012-2013 school year, Villa will be all girls.