Then and Now

Central School

The earliest predecessor of Lewis and Clark High was a four-room, two-story school house called Central School, which opened in 1883.


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Image One Photo Archive The Spokesman-Review Image Two Colin Mulvany The Spokesman-Review

The earliest predecessor of Lewis and Clark High was a four-room, two-story school house called Central School, which opened in 1883. The all-ages school filled quickly and in 1890, Spokane voted to issue bonds to build four elementary schools and a new high school on this site. The new high school, which opened in 1891, was called Spokane High School. This also filled quickly and in 1906, North Central High School was added. Spokane High School became known as South Central after that. On June 21, 1910, fire broke out at South Central and the spectacular blaze gutted the entire structure, taking all the books and school equipment with it. Faced with the loss, school officials decided to double shift all the students at North Central for two years, while building a new, bigger school at Fourth and Stevens. Loren L. Rand designed the new building in the Collegiate Gothic style. Former President Theodore Roosevelt helped lay the cornerstone in April of 1911, and Lewis and Clark High School opened in April 1912. The Hunter Field House was added in 1965. Voters approved a bond issue for school improvements in 1998 and $27 million was earmarked for Lewis and Clark. The field house and adjacent administration building were demolished and the interior remodeled. It reopened in 2001 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


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