After an absence of 30 years, Peters Township High School added a football team to its list of varsity sports in 1964.
Also that year, an economics class was required of all seniors, as well as a semester of Problems of Democracy.
Plans began in the early 60's for a new high school to meet the expanding enrollment.
A site was acquired on East McMurray Road and was to be the location of Pleasant Valley School (built in 1963) and the new secondary facility. Before the groundbreaking ceremony in December 1966, a barn and farmhouse on the property had to be taken down and removed.
Dr. Howard Jack, former Superintendent of the Peters Township School District,
offers his insight of events during the construction of the new high school building:
A Momentous Event in the Life of the High School
By Dr. Howard Jack
"The successful bidder on the general contract for the "new" high school building at 264 East McMurray Road was the Branna Construction Corporation. This was a veteran contracting firm with much experience in constructing school buildings. Ground was broken in December 1966 and work commenced.
The target date for opening was September 1968. That summer it was apparent that progress had slowed. Much remained to be done before occupancy could occur -- or even be allowed legally. Subcontractors were lagging behind schedule. Rumors abounded. In late August the firm failed. Work stopped as it did on sixteen other Branna projects. The bond holder, United Stated Fidelity and Guarantee Company, notified the Peters Township School Authority and School District to make no further payments to Branna. This word was received even as the opening faculty meeting of the year was underway, in the cafeteria of the old junior-senior high school. Within hours stickers claiming ownership of all equipment on site, in favor of the Authority and District, were affixed to every item that could be tagged, from shovels to trailers.
Clearly, the building could not be occupied. There were no fire doors, and the school generally was littered and in a state of disarray.
Necessary decisions were reached quickly. Grades 1-8 opened on schedule, with the newly organized middle school for 6-8 starting as planned. Students in grades 9-12 had a delay of nine school days. In that time the district formed its own construction company, hired certain Branna employees, and prepared the school for occupancy despite unfinished areas. The auditorium and pool were not available, but essential areas were functional. Required safety precautions were observed.
Meanwhile, U.S.F. and G. obtained a successor contractor, the Jendoco Construction Company, to complete the job.
The district, through its solicitor, sought and obtained full reimbursement for all costs incurred, including the temporary labor hired, nine days of high school transportation, and teacher salaries for extra days required. A committee of faculty, administrators, and students developed a plan for making up the nine days, and this was accepted by the school board.
This was probably the only high school in the state with a swim team but no pool. The auditorium became usable in December. Gradually the floors were laid, outside sidewalks replaced the planks over the mud, the permanent fire doors took the place of the temporary but adequate ones, and the inevitable "punch lit" was completed."
The high school construction site during the late winter of 1967.
East McMurray Road runs across the bottom of the picture and
Pleasant Valley School can be seen up on the hill at the right.
The high school construction site during the summer of 1967.
The school was scheduled for opening in September 1968.