Urbana High School (Illinois)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Urbana High School
Champaign-Urbana area IMG 0980.jpg
1002 S. Race Street
Urbana, IL, 61801
School type Public, high school
Established 1872
Status open
School district 116
CEEB Code 144-185
Principal Matthew Stark
Faculty 100+
Enrollment 1095
 • Grade 9 344
 • Grade 10 281
 • Grade 11 243
 • Grade 12 227
Average class size 17.7
Campus type urban
School color(s) Orange and black
Athletics conference Big Twelve
Sports Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Track, Volleyball, Wrestling
Mascot Tiger
Team name Tigers / Lady Tigers
Average ACT scores 21.8
Publication Loophole - UHS Literary Magazine
Newspaper Echo
Yearbook Rosemary
Nobel laureates Robert W. Holley, Edwin G. Krebs

Urbana High School is the only public high school in Urbana, Illinois.


Urbana High School's current building was built in 1914. It was designed by architect Joseph Royer who also designed many other buildings in the area including the Urbana Free Library and the Champaign County Court House. The architecture of Urbana High School is of the Tudor style, defined primarily by the towers over the main entrance and flattened point arches over the doors.

An addition was built in 1916 which included a gymnasium and swimming pool. Due to increasing enrollment, further additions were built in 1955 and 1965.

In 1988, an enclosed athletic area was added while the old gymnasium/pool wing was converted into classrooms. The entire building was also renovated to meet safety codes. The Urbana Park District Indoor Aquatic Center was built in 2003, adjoining Urbana High School and bringing the building to its current state.

During the renovation in the late 1980s, areas that had been sealed off during previous construction revealed graffiti dating back to around the 1950s.

Beginning in 2011, the Urbana School District (USD) #116 began construction on several projects to update older facilities. The school demolished its football and soccer fields in the spring of 2011 and combined them into a new state-of-the-art football/soccer field with artificial turf and several bleachers (Urbana Tigers Athletic Complex). The project cost an estimated $4.3 million.[1] Cobb Memorial Auditorium underwent a complete renovation in 2012 which restored and reincorporated the historical features of its earlier design. Its estimated cost was $4.6 million.[2] Additional improvements to the facilities were finalized at the end of 2012.[3]

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Architect Joseph Royer, an 1890s graduate, designed the 1914 section of the current UHS building, the Urbana Free Library, the Champaign County Court House, and many schools across Illinois and Iowa. Several of his buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places including the Urbana Lincoln Hotel, the Illinois Traction Station, and several University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fraternity and sorority houses. The Joseph W. Royer Arts and Architecture District in Urbana recognizes his contributions.[4]
  • Biochemist Edwin G. Krebs, a 1936 graduate, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1992.
  • Biochemist Robert W. Holley, a 1938 graduate, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1968.
  • Film critic and Urbana native Roger Ebert was a graduate of Urbana High School. During his senior year in 1959-1960, he was co-editor of the school newspaper, the Echo.
  • War correspondent Alexander D. Shimkin, a 1962 graduate, was killed in Vietnam in 1972 while reporting for Newsweek. He is notable for his investigation of non-combatant deaths in Operation Speedy Express.
  • Journalist and author Steven Hager, a 1969 graduate, wrote the book Hip Hop and the film Beat Street before becoming editor-in-chief of High Times.
  • Deejay and author James Wilson, more commonly known as Chef Ra, was senior class president in 1969 and later became a reggae deejay for WEFT and a columnist for High Times.
  • Comedian Mark Roberts is a producer and writer for the TV series "Two and a Half Men".[5]
  • Author and essayist David Foster Wallace was a 1980 graduate of Urbana High School.[6]
  • Basketball player LaToya Bond, a 2002 graduate, plays for the Indiana Fever in the WNBA.
  • Soccer player Ella Masar, a 2004 graduate, has three caps for the US U-23 women's national soccer team, played in the USL W-League, and plays for the Chicago Red Stars.
  • Famed rapper Ludacris spent a portion of his high school career at Urbana High School.
  • Former Miss America 2003 Erika Harold is a 1997 graduate of Urbana High School.
  • Kirsten Slaughter a swimmer currently at IWU who received 4th place in the division 3 NCAA championships in the 50 yard freestyle.

Notable faculty[edit]

  • Charles Carpenter (Lt. Col.), a highly decorated Second World War artillery observation pilot nicknamed "Bazooka Charlie"; destroyed several German armored vehicles in his bazooka-equipped Piper L-4 Cub/Grasshopper light observation aircraft, christened Rosie the Rocketeer.[7][8] Carpenter became seriously ill, and he returned to work as a history teacher at Urbana High School where he worked until his death in 1966 at the age of 53.[9]
  • Timothy V Johnson is a former Illinois legislator.
  • J.C. Caroline, a former NFL player for the Chicago Bears, taught physical education at Urbana and was the head football coach for four seasons.


  1. ^ http://www.usd116.org/files/boardmin0910/100406architect.pdf
  2. ^ "School Facilities Improvements 2007-12 | Urbana School District 116". Usd116.org. Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  3. ^ "UHS". Usd116.org. 2012-07-27. Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  4. ^ "City of Urbana" (PDF). City.urbana.il.us. 2014-05-14. Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ [2][dead link]
  7. ^ What's New in Aviation: Piper Cub Tank Buster, Popular Science, Vol. 146 No. 2 (February 1945) p. 84
  8. ^ Carpenter, Leland F., Piper L-4J Grasshopper, Aviation Enthusiast Corner, retrieved 21 October 2011
  9. ^ In Memoriam, Urbaha High School Class of 1962, retrieved 23 October 2011

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°06′14″N 88°12′34″W / 40.104°N 88.2095°W / 40.104; -88.2095