Local high school to celebrate 100 years

Published 3:50 pm Tuesday, March 15, 2022

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BUCHANAN — A local school will soon be celebrating 100 years of existence.

Buchanan Community Schools will be hosting a centennial celebration on Saturday, June 11, 2022, at 1 p.m. recognizing the 100-year history of Buchanan High School. This public celebration will be held at Buchanan High School, located at 401 W. Chicago Street, and will feature special speakers, dedications, tours, historical displays and activities for children including a petting zoo. The celebration will also showcase the unveiling of two commemorative projects – a new electronic marquee for the high school and multiple trees planted alongside Buchanan High School on Phelps Street. 

History of Buchanan High School

The original high school was built on a hill on Chicago Street in 1871 and could be seen from passing trains. In 1921, foundation work began for the new high schools and was completed in just a few days. On November 20, 1922, the new Buchanan High School officially opened. With 25 classrooms, a gymnasium, an auditorium, and two offices, the cost to build the school was approximately $200,000. 

In 1922, the high school principal was Mr. Floyd L. Early and the Board of Education members were Mr. B. F. Eggert, Mr. Frank Habicht, Mr. M.L. Hanlin, Mr. William Keller, Mrs. Ida Rice, and Mr. J.A. White. Over time, student groups and the community raised funds to add special touches to the new high school. Projects included adding an intercom system with speakers to the building that were donated by the senior class of 1936, and in 1946, the community raised funds to build Memorial Field to honor those who had served in the military.

Additional renovations over the years at Buchanan High School included:

  • 1953 – New gymnasium, locker rooms, and cafeteria
  • 1963 – Addition of the science and music rooms
  • 1982 – Window replacements
  • 1992-93 – Retrofit process began in October 1992 and was completed the following October.

These modifications allowed for ADA compliance in addition to much-needed improvements to

the 70-year-old building.

  • 2004 – Addition with an auxiliary gymnasium, locker rooms, a weight room, and a renovated

cafeteria area, due in part to Title IX changes

  • 2018 – Principal’s office moved to the first floor with a more secure entrance
  • 2019 – Weight room renovations were completed

Since 1922, Buchanan High School has delivered over 10,000 graduates to the Buchanan community and communities around the world. The district continues to push forward with its vision which is to, “Develop responsible, resilient, creative citizens capable of succeeding in a global society.”