Southern High School (Baltimore)

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Southern High School, on the eve of its conversion to the present Digital Harbor High School

Southern Senior High School was a former secondary school in south Baltimore, Maryland, originally built in 1910 with an addition in 1926. Part of the Baltimore City Public School System, it was originally located on the southeast corner of Warren Avenue and William Street. The building was constructed of brick on a 2.45-acre (9,900 m2) site, containing an auditorium, three gymnasiums, a 500-person capacity cafeteria, library, six shops, six home education rooms, one laboratory, and 44 classrooms.[1]

By 1955, the school had an enrollment of 1,800 students, necessitating further enlargement of the facilities. Then-Mayor Thomas D'Alesandro, Jr., broke ground on an expansion project designed to accommodate 600 additional students. This $2 million improvement completed in 1956 added eight more regular classrooms, a double classroom, five new art rooms, eight commercial classrooms for typing and business machines, three music rooms, a three shops for machine, print and auto mechanic instruction, allowing the school to thrive while the city continued to grow.[2]

Construction of replacement building, 1976–1978[edit]

By 1976, when the school had again outgrown its capacity, Baltimore City Public School officials deemed it necessary to erect a new Southern Senior High School in the 1100 block of Covington St. Upon its completion in 1978, the building was capable of accommodating 2,400 students. The state provided $11.7 million for the project of the estimated total cost of $17 million.[3][4]

Transition to Digital Harbor High School, 2002–2005[edit]

The Covington St. structure remains but the school changed names and academic focus in 2002, becoming the current Digital Harbor High School.[5] The last class of Southern High School graduated in 2005.[6]

Notable alumnus[edit]

The original Southern High School building was renovated and reopened in September, 1981 as a condominium and apartment complex.[7] One of its most famous alumnus, Hall of Fame baseball player Al Kaline, graduated from Southern High School in 1953 and began playing that summer as an 18-year old in the Major Leagues for the Detroit Tigers.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ City of Baltimore Department of Education Bureau of research, School Plant Directory, by John L. Stenquist. City of Baltimore Department of Education Bureau of research, September 1, 1952.
  2. ^ "$2-Million School Dream Nears Reality", The Baltimore Sun, July 6, 1956.
  3. ^ Peter Buehl, "Firm of 'advocates' cuts school cost", The Baltimore Sun, Dec 12, 1976.
  4. ^ "Southern students, merchants to reschedule summit", Baltimore News American, November 27, 1978.
  5. ^ Liz Bowie (2002-08-30). "Officials to delay or stagger 3 city high schools' openings ; Northern, Southern, Lake Clifton affected". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2008-09-26. 
  6. ^ Michael Olesker (2005-08-26). "City school may be sign of better days for system". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2008-09-26. 
  7. ^ "Old Southern is on road to becoming Battery Place" The Baltimore Sun, September 13, 1981.
  8. ^ Official Profile, Photo and Data Book, Detroit Tigers (1957), p. 29.

Coordinates: 39°16′37″N 76°36′26″W / 39.276828°N 76.607329°W / 39.276828; -76.607329