Highland Park's History

1913 student body

School History

In 1913 Highland Park started in a one-room portable as an approved annex of South Park School. There were 16 students in grades 1-6. By 1919 the school had increased to eight one-room portables with a population of 290 students. With a steadily increasing student population, the need for a “real” school was obvious and district architect Floyd Naramore was asked to begin the design for a new school. The new building was completed in 1921, and 7thand 8th grades were added.

Because of community growth, the student population during the ‘40’s and ‘50’s kept increasing and in 1952 the 7th and 8th graders were transferred to the newly-built Denny Junior High School.  As a K-6 school the enrollment continued to rise.  By the early 1960’s Highland Park had become the largest K-6 grade school in the entire state and had to use 19 portables to house 45% of the school’s population.  In 1963 the school hit its peak enrollment of 1,182 pupils.

By the late 1980’s it was becoming evident that the original Highland Park school building was showing it’s age.  With the addition of computers, electric typewriters, copiers, laminators, etc. the electrical wiring was no longer adequate.  The 60+-year-old heating and ventilation systems became outdated, and lack of space became an issue for all the extra support staff (counselors, therapists, etc.)  Fortunately voters approved an initiative in 1994 that allowed the School District to proceed with a program to rebuild/remodel 13 schools.  Highland Park was one of the 13. 

For a year and a half Highland Park was housed at the old E.C. Hughes building while the old school was demolished and a new 71,200-square-foot building was erected.  School resumed in the new building in the fall of 1999.

History buffs will enjoy seeing the historic showcase (with doors made from two windows of the old school).  It houses memorabilia saved from the old school and sits beneath a large picture of the original building.


The old Highland Park Building with the entire student body out front, circa 1997.

1997 Highland Park student body
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