Central High School (Springfield, Missouri)

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For schools of the same name, see Central High School (disambiguation).

Coordinates: 37°13.0796′N 93°17.3128′W / 37.2179933°N 93.2885467°W / 37.2179933; -93.2885467

Central High School
CHS Mascot.png
School mascot sometimes referred to as "Pug"
423 E. Central
Springfield, Missouri, United States
Type Public
Established 1893
Status Open
School district Springfield R XII
Principal Dr. Ron Snodgrass
Assistant principals Lisa Anderson
Courtney Martin
Grades 9–12
Enrollment 1,674 (2012)
Color(s)      Black
Mascot Bulldog
USNWR ranking Fourth in state, 327th nationally[1]
Newspaper Central High Times
Graduation rate 84.6 (As of 2012)

Central High School is a high school located in uptown Springfield, Missouri. The school was Springfield's first high school to be built. Construction of the building was completed in 1893. The first graduating class graduated a year later in 1894 consisting of two out of the 76 seniors that were enrolled.[2] The school was renamed Central High School after the construction of Springfield's second oldest high school, Parkview High School, in 1956. Central's mascot is a Bulldog, named Pug by the students at the time of his creation. Central is also the home to the Kiltie Drum and Bugle Corps. This corps was created by Dr. Robert Ritchie Robertson in 1926, and has the distinction of being the first all-female Scottish pipe and drum corps in the country.[3] U.S. News & World Report ranked Central High School as the 4th best school in Missouri in 2011.[1]



Postcard of Central High, then known as Springfield High School, taken between 1907 and 1909.

Central has varied structure since its original construction in 1894. The original building is almost fully intact, albeit with many additions, the first of which was the Central Wing added in 1907. The Central Wing was then followed up by the addition of the Eastern Wing in 1913. Following the construction of the Eastern Wing, the Auditorium was constructed in 1940.[4] The most recent addition to the building, the "New Wing", was completed in 2002. The construction of the "New Wing" drastically improved the nature of the school in adding another building to the campus. The building houses Central's library, various classrooms, and an improved lunchroom.[5]

The Jim Ball Gymnasium, nicknamed "The Pit" for its sunken floor, houses the school's basketball and volleyball games. The Jim Ball Gymnasium is named after the successful Central student and basketball coach, Jim Ball.

Some features of the campus are no longer present. The hallways to Central's auditorium once were home to many ivy plants. The plants were removed in the 1970s for fear of possible damage to the building, but ivy murals were painted on the walls of a hallway to replace them. The hallway became known as the "Hall of Ivy". The Hall of Ivy has become a memorial at the school for students who have died.[citation needed] The school originally had a bell tower on the front of the building, however it was removed in 1916 for the strain it placed on the façade.[citation needed]

Notable programs[edit]

Central High School is one of the two high schools in Missouri to offer the IB Diploma Programme. Central High School also features the Springfield Scholars Program (formerly the Middle Years Scholars Program).[6] The program follows the ideals of the IB Middle Years Programme offering accelerated high school classes to gifted middle schoolers. In the program middle schoolers are semi-integrated with the rest of the population and take Middle Years classes, high school honors classes with the rest of the population along with Pre-IB classes with other high school Pre-IB students.
The school also features the A+ program, a state program that offers College tuition in exchange for tutoring.[7]

Central Intelligence[edit]

Central High School's Media II class develops and releases a bi-weekly in-house news program entitled "Central Intelligence", sometimes referred to as "CI". The program is produced by students for the student body and informs students of local events, both in Springfield and at Central.

Central Intelligence has received a total of six pacemaker awards and in 2011 received Best of Show at the National Scholastic Press Association show in Minneapolis.[8] In 2012, Central Intelligence again won a pacemaker at the National Scholastic Press Association, this time held in Austin.[9]


The school is well known for having many stories of "ghosts," "spooks," and other haunting-related stories surrounding it. The rumors seem to surround many areas of the building, including the tunnels, fourth floor attic, and room 311.[10]

Room 311 was a room in the original building of Springfield. The room was rumored to emit eerie noises, and the door locking on its own. However, with the addition of the "New Building" the old building was renumbered, and its hallways were realigned. Therefore, the original room 311 is no longer numbered 311 and it is unknown what its new room number is.[11]

"The tunnels" is a known name for the tunnels that lie under the building originally connected to a series of caves. The tunnels originally were used to sort heat throughout the building. The rumors of haunting begin with a tale of two people being hanged at the mouth of the cave that the tunnels are connected to. The tunnels are rumored to be haunted by said entities roaming the tunnels.[12] The majority of the tunnels were destroyed in 2001 with the construction of the "New Building". After this the rumors of haunting died for a period of time before resurfacing at a fundraising night in November 2006. During the event History Club began allowing tours of the tunnels as a way of raising funds. They turned the tunnel tour into a "haunted house" and from after that conspiracy around the tunnels made a climb.[13]

Notable alumni[edit]


External links[edit]