1880's brought about tremendous growth in Fresno making
it necessary for the establishment of the city’s first
high school. In 1889, Fresno High School was organized
and opened in the Fall to serve all high school-age
young people in the Fresno Area.
September 16, 1889, the first classes totaling 50
students with three teachers were held in the second
story of the K Street School.
This site became unsafe and classes were moved for 6
weeks to the Old Congregational Church. Repairs made it
possible to return to the K Street building for a short
time. A second condemnation made another move mandatory
to a combination bathhouse and store building at the
corner of N and Mariposa Streets. Finally, a temporary
structure was erected on the present site of the
Memorial Auditorium to house classes.
As enrollment increased, a
permanent campus was constructed at
between Stanislaus and Tuolumne Streets t a cost of
$53,000. The brick high school building with it’s
impressive clock tower was opened for classes on
September 12, 1896. By 1915, the
O Street campus
was declared overcrowded and a new site for Fresno High
was selected on Echo
Avenue. The three
classical style buildings,
Royce Hall, Palmer Hall
and LeConte Hall, met the needs of the school’s
Fresno High School
moved to the new campus in the Fall of 1921.
By the late 1960's, plans were
again being formulated for the expansion of the
Echo Avenue campus.
During the 1971-72 school year, Palmer and LeConte
Halls, the gymnasium and the north and south wings of Royce Hall
were demolished because they did not meet earthquake
standards. The south side of the campus was expanded to
McKinley Avenue by the acquisition of two blocks of
homes. While the two new single story replacement
buildings were being constructed, Fresno High students
attended the McLane High School campus during the
afternoon session. In the Fall of 1972, students
returned to the new Fresno High north and south
buildings and the remodeled Royce Hall.
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