Friday, April 1, 2011

This Month in Rochester History

Fifty years ago, in April 1961, citizens of Rochester were approving plans for a second junior high school facility in the Rochester Community School District. Up to that point, the district had been served by a single junior high school located in the main school complex on University Drive, which today houses the district's administration building.

A post-war population explosion in Avon Township (now Rochester Hills) saw hundreds of acres of farmland turned into new subdivisions, bringing new families and many new students to the district. The new junior high school was planned for a site on Old Perch Road, and was originally designed to have 22 classrooms, a gymnasium and a library. The new school was named West Junior High School, presumably because of its geographic location in the western portion of the district, while the old junior high school on University Drive was renamed Central Junior High School.

When West Junior High School opened in the fall of 1962, it was already operating at its 600-student capacity. It has since undergone additions and renovations and is known today as West Middle School; it now serves more than 800 students and is one of four middle schools in the Rochester district.

The accompanying photo of West Middle School was contributed by Alexander, a Remembering Rochester reader. Thank you for sharing!


  1. Do you have any pictures of West Middle School from the 60s or of that property before the school was built? I have a picture of the front of WMS from the 70s showing the West Warrior Indian headress. I can send it for you to post here. Let me know.

  2. I don't happen to have any photos of the school or the property, but if you have one you are willing to share with Remembering Rochester's readers, I will be happy to add it to the post. You can e-mail it to Thanks for your interest!