IOWA CITY HIGH SCHOOL TOUR
July 2, 2022
The first classes were held at the current City High School in the fall of 1939. Thirty-nine years later, in 1978, the Class of 1981 began attending classes there. By the time of our reunion this summer, it will be more than 41 years since we graduated. That’s right, folks, more time has passed since our graduation from City High than passed between the building’s opening and our arrival as students at the school!
Even four decades later, some of City High should still look familiar to members of our class. A dome still sits atop the brick façade. A replica of the Statue of Liberty still stands down by Morningside Drive (although it is a 2012 replacement for the original, which is now displayed in the main foyer).
Much, however, has changed. A $30 million renovation at City High was completed in 2021 that added air conditioning to the original part of City High, upgraded heating and cooling systems throughout the school, and added a new gymnasium, cafeteria, wrestling room, and a new entranceway featuring a Little Hawk statue.
Even before these latest renovations, Architectural Digest in 2017 selected City High as the most beautiful public high school in the state of Iowa, noting that it had six additions since it was originally built.
According to City High Office Manager Ann Hanrahan (a member of the class of 1981 at Regina),the school now serves about 1,580 students in 9th through 12th grades. Earlier renovations added new wings for music, science and special education, and social studies and world languages. A commons area was also added along with English classrooms, as was the Larry Brown Fitness Center. There is now a turf soccer field behind the school, and the most recent gymnasium is actually the second new gymnasium to have been built since our time at City High.“It’s changed a lot,” Hanrahan noted.
Reunion attendees will be able to discover what City High looks like now on tours provided by the Little Hawk Ambassador Program at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 2. Although the tours will be free, people will need to register for them in advance when they buy tickets for other reunion events so we know how many Ambassador Program members will be needed to lead tours.
Here is a link to the Architectural Digest website that called City High the most beautiful public school in Iowa:
And here is a link to Iowa City Press-Citizen photos from the Aug. 20, 2021, ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new addition: