The Crazy History of Amarillo High School
When you think of Amarillo High School currently, you think of the Amarillo High School Sandies located on Danbury off Bell Street.
However, this is not the original Amarillo High School. The original Amarillo High School was founded in 1889. Its original home was a converted courthouse. The courthouse was quickly outgrown, and another location had to be found.
The school was moved into a building on Harrison, north of where the Amarillo Globe news building sits, in 1890. Drainage problems caused problems for the school when it rained, and it made it difficult for the students to get to school. The Red Brick School was built with 8 classrooms and a library, but it was quickly outgrown. Then in 1906, the high school opened on Johnson Street where it remained until 1911. In 1910 the original construction of Amarillo High School was finished, and students started the Fall semester in 1911 at 1400 S. Polk Street.
Then once again as the school began to grow, more room was needed. The construction of the much bigger school was finished in 1922. This building remained the main Amarillo High School. This building is where the former Senior Citizens Center was located, Sharpened Iron Studios, and the current Downtown Campus of Amarillo College.
However, on March 1, 1970, a fire raged through the building and destroyed everything but the gym. The fire was first reported by a janitor heading into work at First Baptist Church. The fire's cause was an overheated boiler.
At the time Amarillo High housed 1700 students and luckily they were able to continue on as Amarillo High Students, classrooms were moved into the First Baptist Church and the Polk Street United Methodist Church. Plus, they were still able to utilize the gym, since it wasn't hurt in the fire. Amarillo High students attended school this way until the current Amarillo High School was completed in 1973.