Sunday, October 29, 2006

Stadium High School

One of the things I will really miss about Tacoma is my imagining what it would have been like going to high school at this incredible place. I first discovered it when we were on a tour bus that was taking us from the Tall Ships (July 4, 2005) back to our hotel. There were huge scaffolds surrounding the building and from our vantage point we could really see little of the school but the story the tour guide was telling was very interesting. The building was undergoing a $100+ million renovation. That seemed quite amazing but more so was the history of the castle and what was to become Stadium High School.

Originally designed to be a grand hotel the building was not completed by the railroad. This was a result of a depression at the end of the 19th. The current school year marked the 100th anniversary of the school. It has been a rich history for the school and Tacoma. For the 100th anniversary the The News Tribune published a commemorative issue. Read the articles to learn more of the history of this facility. The site also has a slide show of the face-lift.

I am in awe of this building for a few reasons. First, we live in what is called the Stadium District. It is a ""reviving area of older Tacoma and has a lot to offer city dwellers. Next, I wondered why the name "Stadium" and then I saw -- a deep, bowl in the hillside overlooking the bay that serves as a beautiful football and track stadium. This is simply astounding when first viewed. Then, I look at the school with its nooks and crannies and think what it would have been like being a young girl interested in science studying in one of the corners of the upper levels. That must have been an adventure for Dixy Lee Ray who would go on to become a ranking marine biologist, US Atomic Energy Commission Chair and then Governor of Washington State.

The school is beautiful and the students should be so proud to go there. Imagine, sitting in a classroom of a 100+ year old building that is 21st Century wired and looking out the window to see ever changing Commencement Bay. What an inspiration!

I have to admit that I will miss looking out my window and viewing the rooftop of the building. I sometimes am taken back in time to Victorian Era novels and then there are times when I imagine it as an urban Hogwarts. All that aside, it always makes me think about what happens when community comes together.

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