Picture 1: Students performing on back porch 1990 Picture 2: Speech event on back porch
In 1990, superintendent Larry Likes filed an Arizona State Historic Property Inventory, mentioning the description of the school at the time: “The building is constructed of brick and mortar with some stucco on the back or south of the building.
An enlarged concrete porch on the south side of the building was constructed in 1989. The exterior of the building is a two tone painted surface. The interior of the building consists of two classrooms, a nurse’s office, an outer secretarial office, two administrative offices, and a conference room. The building also contains three restrooms, a shower, and two small treatment rooms for the nurse’s office. The building is now carpeted throughout.”
Unfortunately building 100 was not accepted as an Arizona State Historic Property because the school windows were not the original windows. The windows were replaced sometime in 1984 due to maintenance issues.
Many memories took place on the porch constructed in 1989 on building 100. Several events took place outside school buildings because of tight space and the large number of students.
The porch on many occasions acted as a stage for events like school graduations. Students sat on the porch of the main building and the audience sat in the courtyard under the night sky. Speakers sometimes had to stop for 5 to 10 minutes while the train went past.
“One year, the porch area was still under construction and the graduation ceremony was held in the field with the graduating students seated on the back of a flatbed trailer,” said Vicki Simer.
“At least once a week, we met out in the patio area in the back around a flag pole. Announcements were given and we had a brief flag salute ceremony. Sometimes, we would get interrupted by jets flying over the school, since Williams Air Force was still a going project,” said Ann Udall.
Sheep fed amoung the surrounding school pastures, loud noices next to children performing, with only a small wire fence separating the school and the animals.
That following year, 1990, another major change took place in Higley. The school's mascot, once called the Higley Hornets, became the Higey Hawks.
The Growing Phase
In 1999, there were approximately 260 students enrolled in kindergarten through eighth grade, with one administrator, fifteen teachers and nine teacher aides. With the increase in families moving into the area, the numbers swelled dramatically.
This hardship on a small rural school with little tax base led to the approval of the School Board to be the sponsorship of record for 26 Charter Schools throughout the state.
The fees resulting from this helped the District cope with the rising enrollment and little money. In addition, the School Facility Board in the current session approved the funding to build two K-8 schools and an addition to the existing school.
In 1999, voters approved the unification of the district and Higley Unified School District was officially born.
Peek of Growth
Picture 1: Main building 100 demolition Picture 3: Main Building 100 demolition facing library building
The original bell tower and bell from building 100 was still intact and in working condition in 2000. In total, six building additions were made: 1953, 1963, 1985, 1989 and 2000.
Higley School District opened Coronado Elementary in 2000 as its second school. Higley Elementary in 1947 was the only school in the District for 53 years after Queen Creek (district #94) seperated from Higley and became its own School District.
Currently the oldest buildings left standing are buildings 400 (1985), building 900 (1989) and the library (1989). In 2000 building 100, known as the oldest school building in Higley, was torn down, along with buildings 200 and 300.
Building 100 was rebuilt and three new buildings were added that same year: 500, 600 and 700.
The only remains of the 1915 school building is the bell from the origional bell tower and a cornerstone.