High School Building Marks 100th Birthday

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Wilkinsburg High School had a unique beginning. In 1893, a third floor was added to the old Kelly School, at the corner of Kelly Ave. and Pitt St., to house the high school students of the borough.

Due to growing high school student enrollment, it became apparent that a new building was needed to house the students. In 1908, the voters of Wilkinsburg approved a bond to build the current high school building. Erected in 1910 and dedicated on March 30, 1911, the building cost $368,000 to construct and furnish.

When the high school building first opened it was considered one of the best in the western part of Pennsylvania. The new building’s first and second floors had seven classrooms each, while the third floor had lecture halls, physics and chemistry laboratories, a kitchen, dining room, and banquet hall. The high school building also had a 1,100 seat auditorium (now the library), and a gymnasium (now the girls’ gym).

By 1915, the building was already getting too small for the growing student population, so the annex was added in 1929 to give the high school building more classrooms, a second gymnasium and a larger auditorium. The cafeteria was not added to the front of the building until 1969. WS

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