|Cover of the 1959 Roosevelt dedication program showing the original school with the "future" auditorium in dotted lines. The rooms on the left with the vertical windows are the choir and band rooms.|
The building first opened in September 1959. It replaced the previous home of Roosevelt, which became Davey Junior High School. The new school was built with growth in mind as it was built on a concrete slab (no excavation required) and had walls that were designed to be removed easily for additions. It was also built on a 31-acre piece of land, three times the size of the previous high school campus. Despite the extra room, football wouldn't be played at the "new" campus for 11 more years. The new building also lacked an auditorium as the budget wouldn't allow for one at the time. Plans were in the works for an auditorium at the time the school opened, but there wouldn't be an auditorium until 1972. What I found interesting about the original building is that it was divided into sections. Music was almost a completely separate building, vocational was on its own end, and the remainder of the school was another end. This was done so that things like band and wood shop wouldn't disturb other classes. What's ironic about that is the fact that less than 10 years later, the first addition to the building added a new library that bordered the band room on two sides. Even today, though, the sound is kept out of the library pretty well!
|Original front entrance of Roosevelt High School as seen in the 1959 dedication program. The room on the left is the band room and the doors in the center are now the entrance to the library from the cafeteria.|
|Roosevelt High School in 1959|
The next major addition was the largest. It was actually 2 parts, but it effectively doubled the size of the school. On one side was the end of the building known as the "vocational wing" or now as the "Career Ed Wing" and sometimes as the "500s wing" (since all the rooms there are numbered beginning at 500). The other side was the auditorium and scene shop addition, which included a lobby (also incorrectly referred to as an "atrium"). The auditorium lobby provided a new front entrance facing North Mantua Street and created a courtyard, connecting the music wing with the history hallway. This addition was started in 1971 and opened in the fall of 1972.
|Today this is the main entrance to the library. On the right|
is the hallway to the band and choir rooms and the
auditorium. Originally, it was the main entrance
to the school!
|Band room as it originally appeared in 1959|
|Diagram of the current layout of Roosevelt High School with each section colored by when it was added. The second floor is on the right (shaped like a "T")|
What's next for the school? That remains to be seen. About 2 years ago the district did a survey of parents to gauge what appeared to be the possibility of a levy or bond issue. Among the questions asked were two about Roosevelt: one regarding the addition of a second gym and the other about addressing the nightmare that is parking. I've long wanted to see Roosevelt get the existing gym expanded or replaced and/or a field house building similar to what the new Ravenna High School has, which includes an area that can be divided into 2 basketball courts, but also has an elevated track and a separate physical education room for other classes. I saw a larger version of this under construction at Avon Lake High School in 2001 that I really liked. Seeing it at Ravenna has me liking it even more! Roosevelt really needs some additional space for physical education. I've subbed several times for PE and one of the classes we have is dance class. More often than not it's held in the auditorium lobby, which is absolutely freezing this time of year. If not there, it's held in the "wrestling room", which is the old weight room in the back of the boys locker room. The gym itself is the same size as it was when the school opened in 1959; when the school had 550 students. Same size gym now for about 1,400 students and a larger community. For the sake of tradition, I'd love to see the gym expanded instead of replaced, but money will determine that! The whole layout of the parking area is an entirely different topic! What a mess!
|Original campus map in 1959 with "future" plans for athletic fields. Below is the campus in 2006. Stanton Middle School is on the far left.|