Monday, December 17, 2007

Chandler High named to historic registry

[Source: Ray Parker, Arizona Republic] -- Another distinction has been added to the venerable Chandler High School built in 1922. It's now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Principal Terry Williams said Old Main, the original building built 85 years ago, has been a key place for Chandler life. And now it's a landmark. Kevin Weight, a Chandler resident with experience in historic preservation, helped the city prepare Old Main's nomination for the National Register. After a lengthy review process at the state level, the National Park Service awarded the designation on Nov. 20. Old Main is believed to be the oldest high school building in Arizona still used for education.

A $30 million renovation and expansion of the Chandler High campus, at Arizona Avenue and Chandler Boulevard, was completed in 2005 and included a new career and technical education center, an Olympic-quality swimming pool and upgraded athletic facilities. Until 1998, Chandler High was the only public high school in the Chandler Unified School District, which now has four. The latest, Perry High, opened in August. Key events in the history of Chandler High:

  • 1913: First classes in buildings at Cleveland (now Chandler Boulevard) and California streets.

  • 1918: School graduates its first class.

  • 1922: School completed at cost of $12,500.

  • 1953: Football field moved to Erie Street and named Austin Field.

  • 1995-96: Major renovation. Original building gutted, interior rebuilt, named Old Main.

  • 2005: $30 million renovation and expansion, part of 2002 bond package, is completed. [Photo source: Arizona Republic.]