History 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. Hughs

1925-1930-M.P. Summers

1930-1931-W.A. Burgess

1932-1965-B.E. Liggett

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 Old St. Albans High School east 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:

1965-1966-Fred Radabaugh

1966-1974- Kenneth Whittington

1974-1976- William Calhoun

1977-1984- Gene Douglas

1985-1988- Norma Winter

1988-2000- Alvin Anderson

2001-2010 - Dr.Thomas  Williams 

2010-2020- Jeff Kelley

2020-Present - Dr. Jaclyn Swayne


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