Elder’s changes since 1922


Elder High School opened with the corner stone being laid in 1922. With girls having attended Elder for the first five years, Our school has gone through some dramatic changes. In 1927, Elder’s girls department transferred to Seton High School next door. Some major changes have taken place at Elder since the school was first built. These changes included the north wing, field house and the Schaeper center being added to the original building. The pit has also had some additional changes done to it along with Elder adding an additional building called the Panther Fitness Center this fall.

Edited by Senior Tyler Macenko
The building process of Elder

I decided to check out a book in the library called Panther Tracks by our very own Mrs. Plagge. What I came to find out is that the constant force behind projects at Elder is Elder’s Welfare Association. They have helped change our building from a smaller less spacious school to a much larger and well developed building.

In the beginning, starting on Vincent Avenue, the Sisters of Charity purchased seven-and-a-half acres of land costing $10,000 in 1927. This land was eventually home to a $188,000 school building and a $22,000 field house known as the Donohoe Center.

One of the first projects Elder added to its fantastic school was the construction of our Pit. Students were have said to work long and difficult hours to finish this project. It was said to have been originally built to honor our vets that were lost after attending Elder. Their names are engraved into the wall closest to the Pit. This was also used as a bomb shelter throughout its many years. After building the Pit and finishing it in 1948, Elder decided to hold its first annual festival to pay off the deficit and also raise money for a new field house in the future.  In 2005, artificial turf was installed in the Pit. Current renovations have been done replacing the old turf with the new. This nationally known historic place is shining today.

The next biggest project done to Elder was the addition of the 1959 north wing. This project helped solve many problems with overcrowding in the school. A record breaking 1,286 students attended Elder in 1958-59 causing the “Year of Displacement.” The new building cost Elder $1,000,000 which was well worth it. Because of this building being built, many elective classes were added to Elder’s curriculum. Two of Elders finest electives, journalism and band, were brought to Elder. This building gave students room to meet for clubs during after school hours and opened up the classroom to become a bit more spacious.  It was said in Panther Tracks that a small change such as 40 students instead of 44 students in a classroom was greatly appreciated by teachers. Imagine going to class without the AC unit on!

edited by Tyler Macenko
North wing addition to original building
edited by Tyler Macenko, picture from Panther Tracks
Mr. Klusman giving class in an old style room compared to today classroom

In 2002, Elder added the Schaeper center. This building contained a new library, band room, and a large open room used for just about everything. Elder also added some classrooms because of this development. This project is said to have been one of the biggest projects of its time. However, this fall, Elder will have completed its new Panther Fitness Center, opening up a large amount of room for Elder. Classrooms are said to be built on the top floor of this building.