Lima High School
At the turn of the century a new high school was needed and controversy brewed over where to locate it. The Board of Education decided to locate the high school between McDonel and Pierce streets with the building facing High Street.
Lima High School, later to become known as Central High School, took 182 days to complete. The building opened in 1905 and cost $75,000. Today the Federal Building occupies that site.
Franklin Elementary School occupied the North Street portion of the Central High School site although the schools were not joined for another 20 plus years.
Horace Mann School at Jameson and Rice Avenues was originally The Lima College. In 1908 the Lima City Board of Education purchased it to use as an elementary school.
South High School
The population in Lima continued to grow. Lima High School was overcrowded and residents in the south part of Lima wanted a high school nearby for their children.
In 1917, the South High School building cost $247,000 to construct. Architect Thomas McLaughlin dedesigned South High School and other Lima landmarks including the Hughes-Russell mansion - part of the West Market Street Golden Block in the late 1800s and now home to the YWCA - Memorial Hall, and Lima Stadium between North Street and Bellefontaine Avenue. McLaughlin was a Lima Schools and Columbia graduate.
Cross Town Rivalries
The Central High School building expanded in 1917 with the addition of an administration building, auditorium and gymnasium. This expansion connected Central to the Franklin Elementary building.
Six years later, building programs started again. In 1923, Jefferson and Roosevelt Schools were built and in 1924 construction started on a new Faurot School. The first Faurot School was an eight-room mansion acquired from the Baxter family, relatives of Lima millionaire Benjamin Faurot.
With two high schools, cross-town rivalries were sure to happen. The first South/Central football game was played in Lima Stadium on Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 1936. Lima Stadium was dedicated that day and recently has undergone many improvements.
Lima Stadium was built through the Work Progress Administration with the Board of Education paying 55 percent and the federal government the remainder. The total cost of the construction was $63,855.13. In March 2002, Lima Stadium was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. A renovation project began in 2014, followed by the school board voting to change its name to Spartan Stadium. It was an effort to continue the momentum of a renewed Spartan pride and spirit.
Major Building Project Begins
Education continued to grow and improve in Lima and the district’s construction phase began again with Superintendent Gordon Humbert. In 1947, Lima residents approved a $3 million bond issue to replace seven schools with six new ones.
Lincoln, Irving, Horace Mann, Lowell, and Emerson Schools were replaced. Washington and McKinley Schools were combined into one new building.
Lincoln, Lowell and Irving were dedicated in 1950, the rest of the schools in 1951. Located on Calumet Avenue, Washington-McKinley was the largest of the six new elementary schools.
Next on the agenda—the construction of Lima Senior High School. For 10 years, the Board of Education studied the idea of combining Central and South High Schools’ students. The recommendation was to build on the 10-acre tract of land off of Pierce Street, land already owned by the schools.