Rock Bridge High School
|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (September 2007) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
|Rock Bridge High School|
|4303 S. Providence Road
Columbia, Missouri 65203
|School type||Public high school|
|School district||Columbia Public Schools|
|Principal||Dr. Jennifer Rukstad|
|Enrollment||1,906  (2015-16)|
|Color(s)||Green and Gold|
|Rival||David H. Hickman High School|
Due to the increasing population of Columbia in the 70's, and the crowding of David H. Hickman High School towards the end of the 1960s, the Columbia Board of Education decided to form a new high school. The board bought 42 acres (170,000 m2) of land in southern Columbia and started the construction of the new high school. The name "Rock Bridge" was chosen because of the schools proximity to the natural rock bridge of Rock Bridge State Park.
Construction started in 1969 on the original portion of the building, consisting of 18 classrooms and one office area in the present-day east wing of the building. Many of these classrooms were connected by motorized folding walls, many of which are still operational and in use. The design of the original portion and its three planned additions, of which two were completed, won a national award in school design. The school was planned to open in 1971, but funding issues pushed back construction of the second phase of the building. As such, this original portion sat unused for a year or two while the second portion was not yet complete.
Construction started on the second portion in early 1972, which added the "Main Commons", another office area, the library, the gymnasium, and a few specialty classrooms underneath that area. In September 1973, with the completion of the second portion, Rock Bridge was considered "complete enough" to open and had a class of 583 students, mostly sophomores and juniors. This high school was the second centrally air conditioned school built in Columbia after Oakland Junior High School north of town. In 1974, the planetarium was completed with a capacity of nearly 90 people, featuring a state-of-the-art star ball and a full-dome projection system .
In 1979, the west wing opened, which was basically a mirror image of the original 1971 building but with a finished basement. The west wing featured about ten general-purpose classrooms, as well as science, art, and band rooms, providing the school with a then-total of about 40 classrooms.
Three new science classrooms, as well as a performing arts center, were added in 1992. Enrollment reached 1000 in the 1995-96 school year.
In 2000, a large addition opened between the east and west wings, featuring seven science classrooms, eight English and social studies classrooms, seven foreign language classrooms, a new media center and three new computer labs.
In January 2013 Rock Bridge opened a new auxiliary gym after freshmen began attending high school following the secondary redistricting in August. The area under the auxiliary gym featured a new wrestling room, making room for three new math classrooms in the former location. A new weight room was also added.
Rock Bridge runs on a block scheduling format during the hours of 8:55 AM to 4:05 PM. This format is structured so that students have four 90-minute-long classes each day. However, most of these classes meet every other day for a total of eight classes for the year. Block scheduling was established in the 1994-95 school year.
The school offers 18 Advanced Placement courses and a multitude of honors classes available to students. However, RBHS does not weight grade point averages.
Rock Bridge High offers a variety of sports. Fall sports include cross country, football, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis and volleyball. Winter sports include basketball and wrestling. Spring sports include baseball and track and field. Year-round sports include cheerleading and poms. Rock Bridge has won the girls' state golf title in 1999, 2002, 2003, 2011 and 2014, as well as the boys' state title in 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2012. At the club level, Rock Bridge fields a lacrosse team in the spring.
From the time the school opened journalism has been part of the course offerings for the school. There was a newspaper, The Rock, as well as a yearbook, Flashback. In 1995 the school created a prerequisite class called Journalistic Writing, and the paper became a monthly publication. The journalism department created a special edition magazine, Southpaw, in 2005, and in 2011, an online news source, Bearing News.
The Rock began on letter-sized sheets that were published through a class. In 1994 it began its run as a monthly publication.
Notable former students
- Carter Arey, Team USA athlete
- Rob Benedict, actor
- Carl Edwards, NASCAR driver
- Tom Hart, SEC Network announcer
- Trey Millard, Kansas City Chiefs fullback
- Brian Wesbury, economist
- Timothy M. Wolfe, former President of the University of Missouri System; quarterbacked 1975 Rock Bridge 3A state championship football team
- Elizabeth Paige Laurie, Walmart heir
- Walter L. Johnson, historian
- Nischelle Turner, Entertainment Correspondent, Entertainment Tonight