Sunday, February 1, 2015

This Month in Rochester History

Fifty years ago this month, the Rochester Board of Education asked voters in the school district to consider a special bond election to fund construction of a swimming pool and auditorium at Rochester High School. The proposed project was expected to cost $1.1 million, and school officials pointed out that adding a 600-seat auditorium to the high school would provide a much-needed performance space that the community was lacking at the time.

The new Rochester High School at Livernois & Walton had opened to students in the fall of 1956, replacing the old high school building on the corner of  West Fifth (later West University) & Wilcox.  It was the only high school serving the district at that time, as Rochester Adams High School would not be opened until 1970.  The bond issue to add a swimming pool and auditorium was defeated by a 106-vote margin in the spring of 1965, but was re-submitted and passed in 1966.  The new sections, including a bridge to connect the physical education and music wings at the east end of the high school, opened in 1968.

1 comment:

  1. As a kid I remember my parents discussing the pool and auditorium proposals. Many people thought that they were too extravagant. It was great that the bond issues finally passed, as I think it brought the Rochester Community Schools up a notch. I personally benefited from the new pool, joining the Adams swim team, and eventually getting a college swimming scholarship. The new auditorium and band/music room was great too. They were greatly needed, and finally gave the music programs decent rehearsal and performance spaces.