By Cassie Dugan and Julie Kippenbrock
Generations come and generations go. Just a glance through some old yearbooks and one can easily see how this school has come so far not only in its size and physical stature, but also the development of its student body. It has always been and always will be filled with thoughts of dating, schoolwork and this Friday’s social event. But the routes students take while students swaggering to their classes, how their schedule is organized and even how they walk in and out of the school has altered through the years.
In 1975, current Assistant Athletic Director Bruce Wolf was a senior here. According to Wolf, not only has this school changed physically since it opened its doors 87 years ago in 1921, but many traditions have changed as well.
Wolf said that when he attended this school 33 years ago, only around 1,500 students were enrolled. On top of that, this school only consisted of sophomores, juniors and seniors, leaving the freshmen left to complete ninth grade at their middle school. Since then, freshmen have been introduced in this school just recently, some 28 years or less. Yet, this school was not always only three or four grades.
When construction on this school began 87 years ago, it was designed to house grades one through 12, a sporting a gymnasium, library and 600-seat auditorium. A large addition was added in 1939, including a swimming pool, auditorium and new classrooms. In 1955, a new building was opened at its present site. A freestanding building, which is the building Wolf remembers walking to under a covered walkway, was added next to the original building in 1977. The final improvements were completed in 1993, finishing the building we know today, minus the recently built Freshmen Center.
A smoking lounge acted as a service to students throughout the day. According to social studies teacher Matt Dillon, when he was a senior here in 1989, the smoking lounge was still in use. “We had a smoking lounge but you had to be 16 to use it. (The school) got rid of it, not because the law changed, but the kids wouldn’t throw their (cigarette) butts away,” Dillon said.
Unlike the current Block schedule, recently implemented in the ‘90s, Dillon experienced a seven period day. “There was no SRT and classes were 50 or 55 minutes,” Dillon said.
The lunch system was also different back in the day. Dillon explains that in the late ‘80s, there was only one cafeteria for the entire school. Wolf added that when he was a student, there were only three lunches, A, B and C. According to Wolf, D lunch was added sometime in the ‘80s. This was to supplement the growing Greyhound population.
The Homecoming festivities and the built-in SRT were non-existent prior to the ‘90s. SRT was added to the schedule during this time, which was also when the school switched to the block schedule.
Also, the graduation ceremony took place in the gymnasium rather than at the Pepsi Colosseum or the Verizon Wireless Music Center, and Homecoming activities were quite different. According to Wolf, the Homecoming dance is fairly new. Music didn’t use to fill the halls like they do now during Homecoming week. The float tradition also ended recently.
The trail many students walk every day wasn’t a problem either. In fact, where Greyhound Station now stands, there used to be a parking lot.
In addition to physical changes, the student body here has experienced both dynamic and static eras.
“I think our biggest strength is that we are a big school and we can offer kids lots of opportunities that other smaller schools can’t offer,” Wolf said.
Athletics, according to Dillon, have been consistently good on top of the fact that it has always been a larger school.
“The school has always been pretty good,” Dillon said. “We are at a school of champions and that didn’t happen in 2008. It has been an ongoing process.”
In some cases, the phrase “Tradition Never Graduates” stands true. An example includes that of booing underclassmen. Dillon said that the youngest kids here have always been booed, just back then the sophomores were booed as opposed to the freshmen since freshmen were not attending the high school yet.
Despite the multiple phases of construction and generations of students coming and going, some things will always stay the same.
Wolf said, “One of the things that hasn’t changed is Carmel is a great place.”