Looking back: School days

Rochester Post | Published September 12, 2017


ROCHESTER — High school students and teachers pose for a 1908 group picture in the Harrison Building, at Wilcox Street and University Drive, currently the site of the Rochester Community Schools administration building.

The history of Rochester-area schools dates to 1827, when a law was passed requiring townships with 50 or more families to employ a schoolmaster for three months of annual schooling. The earliest archival records for the Stony Creek No. 1 Fractional School are dated 1841, according to Rochester Hills Museum records.

The Harrison Building was constructed in 1889 for a cost of $8,000 and housed students of all grade levels. In 1924, the Harrison Building was accredited with the title Rochester High School.

A post-World War II population explosion brought housing developments to former farmlands, delivering families and students to the Rochester area. A new high school was built in 1955 at University Drive and Livernois Road, and the old school on Wilcox became Central Junior High School. A few decades later, the historic building was renovated and transformed into the school district’s administration building.