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In 1889, Rochester's first high school, known as the "Academy on the Hill", was built on Fourth and Wilcox for $8,000. The first class graduated from Rochester High School in 1896. The historic structure still exists, long since adapted and widely renovated for Board of Education offices and a variety of other uses.
Rochester High accreditation was granted in 1924.
In 1955, groundbreaking for a new building at the current location on the corner of Livernois and Walton in Rochester Hills took place and on October 31, 1956, students walked from the "Academy on the Hill" to the new Rochester High School, many carrying their books along with them.
The gymnasium was added in 1957.
The two-story wing (freshman hallway) was built in 1961.
The auditorium, the bridge (a.k.a. Falcon Freeway), and the swimming pool were added in 1965.
The school split to a half-day schedule to accommodate the growing student population while Rochester Adams High School was being built and completed in 1970.
In 1986, the mall enclosure, media center, cafeteria, and auxiliary gym were added.
In 1998, a courtyard was converted into four classrooms.
In 1999, the metal shop was converted into two classrooms.
A complete renovation of Rochester High took place in 2001, which included upgrades to the main office, counseling offices, weight room, pool, gymnasium, the addition of computer labs and photography lab, theater and vocal area, additional science labs, new locker banks, an enhanced courtyard with green house, and a new auditorium and theater areas.
The '09-'10 staff of the Talon, the school newspaper, won 23 individual awards at the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association (MIPA) spring conference. The Talon also received the first Spartan Award in RHS history, which is the highest ranking a newspaper can receive from MIPA.
The Falcon Marching Band has consistently earned 1st division ratings (highest possible) at the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association (MSBOA) festival. Their streak ended in 2008 with a 2nd division rating.