Important dates mark the history of the building

1873- The first school erected on this site was a small wood-frame elementary school and was replaced five years later with a two-story brick structure called Old Central

1879- Old Central opened its doors and was located in the center of the block approximately where the Mary W. Sommervold Hall now stands. First through 12th grade students went to school here.

1889- South Dakota became a state

1908- The north wing, which now houses the Visual Arts Center, opened. The school board formally adopted the name Washington High School.

1922- The south wing, which now houses the Kirby Science Discovery Center, opened.

1934-1936- Old Central School was demolished to build a gymnasium and auditorium, where the Mary W. Sommervold Hall and the Belbas Theater are currently located. The east/west wings were also constructed, giving the building its current layout.

1961- Civic Fine Arts Association, the predecessor to the Visual Arts Center, is founded.

1973- The Civic Fine Arts Center moves into the Carnegie Library at 10th and Dakota, its home for the next 26 years, until moving to the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science.

Spring 1992- Washington High School closed its doors and moved to its new facility in northeast Sioux Falls.

The Timeline Mural is found on the north wall of Alumni Hall. Click on the timeline for a large image

History of Washington High School

In 1908, Kitty Warner, the first graduate of a Sioux Falls High School (in 1883), broke a bottle of pure Sioux Falls spring water on the west portal of the new high school and officially christened it "Washington High School"