History from 1954-2001
Editor's Note: Rosemary M. Clendenin wrote
this capsule history of St. Albans High School in 1986
for an updated Annual for the SAHS class of "50".
The Second Saint Albans High School
As student enrollment increased rapidly
following World War I. As a result, in 1924, a new High
School building was erected on Kanawha Terrace and Lee
Street to accommodate the larger student body. The new High
School building was a fourteen room brick structure which
cost $90,000 to build. In 1927, the first addition was added
to the new school, a new $20,000 gymnasium to allow for
Physical Education to be included in the curriculum. Four
rooms were added in 1933, and the last permanent addition to
the original structure was in 1939 with fourteen classrooms
and the auditorium. It was also during the 1939 school term
that St. Albans became a six year school with grades 7
through 12. Much like the original high school, this school
has seen numerous changes in it's leadership.
This school was headed by the following
principles in the corresponding years.
1923 -1924-John E.
While in this school, the building was
under the jurisdiction of two different school districts.
The first district was the independent Jefferson District,
which included all students in the Saint Albans area.
However, in 1933, the high school came under the county-wide
jurisdiction of the newly formed single school district,
known as the Kanawha County Board of Education.
SAHS 1954-2001 The "new High School
building was completed in 1954 on Kanawha Terrace and Hudson
Street, just 12 blocks
of the "old" high School. The total cost of the new
building, including furnishings, was $1,002,966.00.
Additions were made to the original building in the late
1960s. With the move into the new facility, the high school
once again became a three-year High School and the building
on Kanawha Terrace and Lee Street became the now closed St.
Albans Junior High School. The graduating class of 1955 was
the first class to graduate from the present building.
They were the 46th class of St. Albans graduates, with 199
class members receiving diplomas, while the total number of
students in the building during its first year was 802. Peak
enrollment for St. Albans High School was in the year of
1971 when the High School was home to 1700 students. The
single largest graduation class was the class of 1974, with
620 seniors receiving diplomas. In the eighties, SAHS
experienced a steady decline in student enrollment.
By the end of the eighties, the average
number of seniors in a graduating class was 300. The decline
of students enrolled in the High School has continued into
the nineties, but has leveled off, and the numbers in senior
classes remains constant in the high two hundreds. The last
class of the decade, the class of 1999, graduated 245
students. In the fall of 1999, St. Albans High School opened
with a total student enrollment of 795. The St. Albans Class
of 2000, a senior class of 258, will forever remember that
they graduated in a new century. The incoming sophomore
class for the fall of 2000 numbers 300 students. The current
building is now in its last year of service to the students
and community of Saint Albans in it's present form.
Forty-five years of constant use has taken its toll on the
present St. Albans High School building, and it is in dire
need of renovation.
A $3,000,000 School Building Authorization
Bond was passed by the county voters. This bond will have a
huge impact on St. Albans schools and the community. A large
portion of the Bond money is dedicated to St. Albans High
School, and will be used for renovation, expansion,
furniture, equipment and upgrading the technology
infrastructure. The Bond will enable the traditions of St.
Albans High School to continue into the new century. St.
Albans High School has always been and remains a proud
institution of the city. This capsule history of the school
parallels the growth and change of not only the high school,
but also the city.
The various principals of Saint Albans
High School's "new" building included:
1966-1974- Kenneth Whittington
1977-1984- Gene Douglas
1988-2000- Alvin Anderson
2001-2010 - Dr.
2010-present - Jeff Kelley