Monday, July 21, 2008

My Town Monday: Old Brighton High School

The title's not quite right, really, but it's the best I can come up with for the building. Currently it's called the BECC building (for Brighton Education and Community Center.) That's what I'm going to refer to as because that's what it is to me. =)

Situtated at the top of the hill just east of town, at the corners of Main Street and Church Street is the building that once was Brighton's High School.

Originally built in 1928, the BECC building replaced the Union School. The Union School was the first brick (and thereby "permanent" school built in the Brighton area.) Previously, classes had been held in houses rented or frame buildings, which seemed to have a problem with burning down.
The BECC building cost $140,000 to build. The first graduating class had eight students. In 1966, 133 students graduated from the school.


The school opened to 341 students in the fall of 1928. The school was hailed as being "thoroughly modern" and "exemplery in design and curriculum."
You can see from these old pictures (poached from Brighton Area Centenniel and Old Brighton Village books, both produced in the mid-1970s for the, well, the Brighton Centenniel) that the original building consisted of the one section as contained in the first picture.


Including the tall smoke stack.


In 1953, classes for the high school started at 8:30am (which is my kind of start time!) Lunch was between 12:20 and 1:19. The school day endd at 3:12pm. The school year that fall staretd on September 11 and got out June 4. Students had to purchase their text books, but could get credit for turning in the books from the previous year. Easter was a TWO DAY recess.
In the modern pictures, you can see some things have changed. The front steps and flag pole seem to be missing, for starters. And the trees are bit bigger these days. Even in the middle of Februrary when it's bitter cold.
















In 1950-1, a wing was added to the North end of school to house a shop.














The gym was tacked onto the South end the same year.

In 1954 and 1957, a Junior High was added to the school. From what I can tell, the high school and junior high were housed in the same building for several years.


In the mid-sixties, Brighton began building a new High School down the road. The old High School first turned into a middle school, then later when a new middle school was built, the BECC building got it's current purpose. The New High School, which is still the current Brighton High School opened in 1966. The school has spread out over the years, addding on several times to it's current (and in my never humble opinon, bloated) size of 2200+ students.

Crrently, the BECC building houses administrative offices, a preschool/daycare program and the alternative/ adult high school. Though the last item is the least known of all part of the Brighton Area Schools. Many people have lived in the area their entire lives without knowing that there is a successful alternative high school program in the area.

While doing some research on the BECC building, I came across two articles.
The first reported the results from a survey of Brighton elementary shcool students. This study found that the students were lacking basic skills and didn't like school.

The second article was imploring high school students who had enjoyed working their summer jobs to come back to high school in the fall, rather than dropping out to continue working.

Can you guess the dates of these two articles? Heck, I'll narrow it down-- pick one of the following decades for each article.
1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s
(Answer in the comments)

The more things change, the more they stay the same...

My Town Monday is the brain-child of Travis Erwin.

5 comments:

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Okay, I'll take a guess.

Lacking in skills--50s

Comeback after summer job--60s

I'll be back to find out the answer after everyone else has had a chance to play.

Terrie

pattinase (abbott) said...

Boy, they all look like schools around here. Michigan must use a blueprint.

debra said...

how about lacking in skills: 1990's
and high school kids: 1950's
(these truly are guesses--I do not have a clue :-)

Travis Erwin said...

80s and 50s are my guesses. 2200 students that seems huge to me.

Clair Dickson said...

The study on students lacking basic skills was from 1970.

The article imploring kids to finish high school was from 1954.