June 14, 2017 9:30AM
As the organizers of the annual College High School reunion planned this year’s event, which takes place June 16-18, they were aware that this may be the last time that the College High alumni will be able to gather in their old auditorium.
College High was built in 1951 on the Pittsburg State University campus as a laboratory school and operated as such until 1971 when it was renovated to house the Kelce College of Business. Since the high school closed, alumni have gathered annually for a reunion and have met, at least informally, in the old auditorium, which is one of the few spaces remaining from the former high school.
A planned major renovation and expansion of the Kelce College of Business will take away the auditorium, however, and replace it with space more in keeping with a modern learning environment.
College High School Alumni Association officers Kathryn Richard, Vicky Wilderman and Jane Crain said that while losing the old auditorium may feel bittersweet to CHS alumni, they’re excited about the changes coming to the building and the campus.
“We are happy for the university’s progress, for the past improvements made in the building and the plans for completely renovating the building to make it a state-of-the-art facility,” Richard said. “We are somewhat sad that the building we knew as College High School will not be recognizable in the future, but we are pleased the university allowed us to honor our grade school (Horace Mann) and high school with the commemorative plaques, which were provided with funds contributed by CHS alumni. We are also glad both buildings were renovated and not torn down to put new buildings in their place.”
The College High School reunion weekend begins on Friday with an informal get-together in the auditorium at the Kelce College of Business. On Saturday evening there will be a banquet at the Frontenac Senior Citizens Center, at which PSU President Steve Scott will give an update on the plans for the Kelce College of Business renovation and expansion.