History of Porterville High School

(Compiled by Ina H. Stiner from numerous sources.)

Organization and Housing:

1896:  A High School was added to the the elementary school of Porterville and located in the east room of the second story of the Horton Street School.

1905:  The High School was transferred to the newly-built granite structure located between Belleview and Morton streets and facing E Street.  Beginning about 1913/4, for commercial studies; at the west, for chemistry and physics, 1914/5; for a wood and mechanics shop, about 1915; at the northwest, 1918, for home economics and a  cafeteria; and across the street at the south, 1920, auto mechanics shop and busses garage.

1923:  During the spring vacation, the High School moved into the school "plant," erected on Olive Street adjoining J Street,  in 1922, following the voting of the bonds in 1921 (after an unsuccessful attempt in 1920) -- which plant included the 350-foot main building (shaped like a letter E with its back to the north); southeast of that gymnasium (which burned down and was rebuilt in 1933 with the addition of a basket-ball court; and south of the gym, a building for the shops  (woodwork, ironwork, and auto-mechanics and for the agricultural classes; and south of the shops, at the care-taker's residence (the only wooden building, the others being reinforced concrete) which had been the home of the former owner Mr. A. Kennedy) of the 20-acre tract, across the south end of which was the athletic field.  A water-pumping system was installed near the care-taker's residence.

1927:  A Junior College was added to the High School, which necessitated the adding of two rooms to the main building in its west court in 1928.  Other enlargements of this plant to date (March 1938)

1930:  A building for the 11 busses which had been housed in the auto-mechanics department

1934:  An athletic-field building for boys' showers and dressing rooms and quipment, and an iron fence around the athletic field

1935:  Two rooms for agriculture, built on the east side of the shop-building

1936:  Two rooms for a hospital and for health education, added to the main building in its east court

1937:  A music building, located on the east side near the athletic filed; two rooms for music had been added to the gym in 1926.


1896-1910:  Porterville High School was supported by the Porterville district of the elementary school system of the county, with the provision that students coming from outside that district may be charged a tuition fee.

1910-1927:   Porterville Union High School, first a union because in 1910 the neighborhood near the old Indian Reservation did not withdraw from  the high school when it set up the Reservation (now Alta-Vista) district    separate from Porterville elementary School.  From February, 1920,  the following districts were added to the union: Burton, Citrus-South  Tule (united since1920, South Tule having already annexed La Motte); Ducor (which since then took over Fountain Springs and part of   Wheatland); Hope; Olive; Orange: pleasant View; Rockford; Vincent; and later in the same year, Springville (Now a union including Dennison -- joining PHS in 1930 --, Mountain View, Mt. Whitney,  North Tule, and Rural); Sausalito, in Jan. 1921; Terra Bella in 1924  (Now   a union including Deer Creek, Grand View Heights, and Zion  and part of Wheatland); and Welcome, joining PUHS in May, 1930. With   the Porterville Elementary District was consolidated: Worth in  1924, Vandalia in 1925, and Miles in 1932.  These are the fifteen districts of the Porterville Union High School in 1938; but before so  much consolidation they numbered some 24.

1927-1938: Porterville Union High School and Junior College, in which the addition of a junior College did not change the extent of the district but  admitted junior college students from Strathmore, Lindsay, Exeter,   and Tulare high schools, for which the county pays, chargeable to the districts, the overhead cost for the students (something over $100 per student).

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