Stadium High School

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Stadium High School
Tacoma - Stadium High School 03A.jpg
Address
111 North E Street
Tacoma, Washington, Pierce, 98403
United States
Information
School type Public
Status open
School district Tacoma Public Schools
CEEB Code 481395
Principal Kevin Ikeda
Grades 9-12
Campus type Closed
School color(s) Royal Blue, Gold
Mascot Tiger
Nickname Tigers
Newspaper Stadium World
Yearbook Tahoma
Website

Stadium High School is a more than 100-year-old high school in Tacoma, Washington and a historic landmark. It is part of Tacoma Public Schools, or Tacoma School District No. 10 and is located in the Stadium District, near downtown Tacoma. The original building burned to a shell while it was still a partially constructed hotel designed by Hewitt & Hewitt that was being used for storage. It was reconstructed for use as a school according to designs by Frederick Heath,[1] and a "bowl" stadium was added.

History[edit]

The high school and the eponymous stadium, with Commencement Bay in the background (2008).

The main building was constructed by architects Hewitt and Hewitt[2] for the Northern Pacific Railroad Company and the Tacoma Land Company at what was then known as Blackwell Point. Construction began in 1891 with the intention of building a luxury hotel resembling a French château. The Panic of 1893, however, brought construction to an abrupt halt when the Northern Pacific was faced with financial disaster. The unfinished building became a storage facility, with much of the building materials still inside. On October 11, 1898, the building was gutted by a massive fire. The walls remained standing, and the Northern Pacific began to dismantle the structure, removing some 40,000 bricks that would be used to construct still-existing train stations in Missoula, Montana, and Wallace, Idaho.

The Tacoma School District purchased the gutted building on February 19, 1904, with the intent of turning it into a high school. The redesign and later renovations were planned by the school's architect, Frederick Heath.[3] It was repaired and renovated into a school.[4] Despite its extraordinary locale and design, on the inside it looks, feels, and operates like a typical American high school.[5]

The reconstructed building opened on September 10, 1906, as Tacoma High School. Seven years later, the name was changed to reference the adjacent Stadium Bowl. Later additions included a circular lunchroom, an underground swimming pool, a science and industrial arts complex,[4] a gymnasium, and a multi-story parking lot structure with tennis courts on the roof.

The stadium, also designed by Frederick Heath, dates from 1910 and is in a location once known as Old Woman's Gulch. It was originally much grander than it is today, with a seating capacity of 32,000. Among those who spoke there were Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, William Jennings Bryan, and Billy Sunday.[6]

The stadium was originally built in 1909–1910 using steam shovels and sluicing to move more than 180,000 cubic yards (140,000 m3) down the edges of the gulch to create a flat playing field of 2.5 acres (10,000 m2). Wooden molds were built to cast concrete for 31 rows of stadium seating surrounding the playfield.[6]

The original structure exceeded what the soil could support. A restoration project in the 1970s had to sacrifice roughly half of the seating capacity because of instability. In 1981 a burst storm drain washed away the scoreboard and the bayward end zone of the football field. This was followed by a further restoration allowing the stadium to reopen in 1985.[6]

The school was the filming location for many of the scenes of the 1999 movie 10 Things I Hate About You.

Renovation

In 2005-2006 the school underwent a major renovation, seismic upgrade, historical restoration, and expansion. Bassetti Architects were the design architects, and Merrit Pardini Architects (later Krei Architecture) were the architects of record for this work.[7] During the renovation, students were temporarily relocated to the old site of Mount Tahoma High School in the south end, just over 7 miles (11 km) away.

The centennial celebration of Stadium High School was held on September 16, 2006. The celebration was attended by 3299 alumni, setting a Guinness World Record for the largest recorded school reunion.[8]

Daffodil Festival[edit]

Every year, Stadium participates in the Pierce County Daffodil Festival. A competition is held in house to select the Stadium Princess, who goes on to compete against other regional schools, for the Daffodil Festival Queen title. The Queen title is considered the highest honor of the regional festival. The Stadium band accompanies the float of Stadium's princesses every year in the parade, held annually in April.

In the years of 2006 and 2007, no one in Tacoma submitted a float, a requirement for participation in the festival. The festival board waived the requirement, but in 2008 warned that if no group within Tacoma School District boundaries presented a float, Tacoma and its students, including the Royal Court program, would be barred from participation in the 2009 parade. In response, the Stadium High School Environmental Club decided to build a float, ensuring Stadium and other area schools inclusion in the Daffodil Festival for 2009.[9]

Annie Jeong of Stadium was crowned Daffodil queen 2010.[10]

Notable alumni[edit]

Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps[edit]

Stadium High School is host to an NJROTC program. It develops leadership, self-discipline, citizenship, and patriotism within students. The unit at Stadium is known as the Admiral James S. Russell Tiger Cadet unit.

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1] News Tribune
  2. ^ http://www.klippert.com/Stadium/History.html
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ a b Plaque outside the school, May 22, 1992. Consulted 16 August 2008.
  5. ^ http://www.tacoma.k12.wa.us/sites/schools/stadium/Pages/default.aspx
  6. ^ a b c Plaque outside the stadium, May 28, 1993. Consulted 16 August 2008.
  7. ^ Bassetti Architects
  8. ^ Guinness World Records
  9. ^ Santos (April 6, 2008). "Students keep city of Tacoma in the festival". The Tacoma News Tribune. Retrieved 2008-04-09. [dead link]
  10. ^ Santos (03/13/1012:05 am). "Stadium student crowned Daffodil queen". The Tacoma News Tribune. Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Some famous and notable graduates," The News Tribune (Tacoma, WA), September 9, 2006.
  12. ^ "St. Olaf Band Roster 2011-2012". 2012-06-28. 
  13. ^ Eng, Lily (1996-12-19). "Former Captive's Life Troubled". Seattle Times. Retrieved 2009-06-08. 
  14. ^ Roberts, C.R. (2008-05-07). "Ice cream pioneer Irvine Robbins got start in Tacoma". The News Tribune. Retrieved 2008-05-12. [dead link]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°15′58″N 122°26′53″W / 47.26623°N 122.44816°W / 47.26623; -122.44816