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The Old Augusta High School

by Jessica King

Throughout the years there have been many schools in Augusta. There have been wooden buildings and brick buildings, both small and large. There have been thousands of graduates and hundreds of teachers. In the next few paragraphs I will attempt to tell you about the many things that went on at the old Augusta High School.

Augusta High School 1887 to 1903

The first Augusta High School was located on Main Street where the Community Center is now. It was built in 1887 and was called The Wood Building. It was a small school, which looked almost like a church. It had two stories and a lot of windows. It also had a tower on the top that housed a bell. The first graduating class at this school had only five people. Throughout its six years, this school had approximately 112 graduates and 12 teachers. Some of the subjects that they studied were the same as ours like reading, geography, history, government, spelling, physics, and chemistry. Some were different, like arithmetic, numbers, writing, physiology, orchestra, and botany. This building lasted until it burnt down in 1903.

After the wood building there was a building called The Square Brick Building. This building was in the same location as the first one. It was a larger building with three stories and a basement. It also had a tower like the first one. The Square Brick Building was built right after the other burnt in 1903. The students were able to start taking classes in agriculture, German, public speaking and salesmanship in 1912. During this time they also started cooking, advertising, law, and typewriting. There were approximately 206 graduates and approximately 30 teachers in 15 years. This school was used until 1918, when it was torn down to make a bigger one.

Augusta High School 1903-1918

The third school in Augusta was called The Brick Building with Wings. This building was almost like the brick building, but it had wings and no tower. It was a rectangular shaped building with a lot of windows. This one also had three stories and a basement, but it was much longer. This school was used for 35 years. It had classes that they never had before, like Latin, civics, manual training, glee club, biology, sewing, geometry, shorthand, mechanical drawing, band, economics, industrial arts, bookkeeping, journalism, drawing, home economics, vocational education, speech, physical education, music, and driver’s training. Some of these classes are still available today. Approximately 1233 students graduated from the brick building with wings between 1919 and 1954. That is about 35 per class. This building lasted until 1954 when they again made a new one.

Augusta High School 1919-1954

The last Augusta High School built on Main Street was called The T-Shaped Building. This is the school that we know most about. It is where almost all of our parents that went to school in Augusta attended. This building was also a rectangular shape. It had no tower and no third floor, but it did have a basement. This building was attached to what is now the community center. There was an attic in this building, and a lot of small places where one could just go and explore between classes. This building also didn’t have any air conditioning, and it was either hot or cold. When students walked from one classroom to the other, the floors creaked. The classrooms that we have now are much smaller than the ones they had back then. They would use the bigger rooms for bigger classes and fewer teachers. When the school became bigger the classes also became bigger. By 1979 there were about 79 people per graduating class. This building had about the same types of classes as we have right now. It offered the basic English, science, and math, but they also had more Greek mythology classes, and technical education classes. During their school day students had a recess and a lunch. Their recess was longer than the recesses that the elementary school students get now. Their lunches were about 45 minutes long. Cooks served 7th grade through 12th grade at the same time. Most of the upperclassmen got to eat and socialize, while the underclassmen had to go to the end of the line and eat in a rush. Just like now the old Augusta High School had a closed campus. Students were not allowed to go home and eat during lunch or leave during recess; some did anyway. One thing that has not changed much was the sports. They had almost all of the sports available to them as we do now. Volleyball, basketball, football, cheerleading, track and baseball were some of the sports that they had; however, they did not have golf, softball, or cross-country. This school lasted for 20 years until they tore it down to move out of town and have more room to add. They did leave the gym part of its standing. It is now used for middle school basketball and volleyball. This school was the last one to be built on Main Street.

The next school, which is the current one, was built on Bartig Road. This school is still standing now and is used as the high school and the middle school.

Augusta High School Present