Filed Under Education

North Royalton High School

The site of the North Royalton City School Board Offices and Gibson Field at Serpentini Stadium has been used by the community as school land for over 100 years. In 1908, North Royalton was a very different community than it is today, and this was the site of the village's first high school. Before the new school was constructed, students attended classes at the old town hall on the Village Green, with North Royalton High School conferring diplomas to two proud students in the inaugural class of 1907. Students who wished for a fourth year of high school would have to take a wagon to Parma and then a streetcar to Lincoln High in Cleveland's Tremont neighborhood to receive such a privilege. As North Royalton grew in the mid-part of the 20th-century, becoming more suburban than rural and shedding its past as a small agricultural and dairy community, the original high school was torn down, and a new modern high school opened in 1952.

As you look at the newly renovated stadium and overcrowded board offices today, as well as the hulking, modern middle school and high school around the corner, it is hard to imagine a time when North Royalton was something other than a bustling suburb of Cleveland. Safe to say, the community has grown and changed much in the past 100 years. Something as simple as the evolution of a high school can illustrate this.

Images

Original School, 1929 Examine this photo of the first North Royalton High School (and its expansion) on Royalton Road in 1929. What can you tell about the growth of the community since the original sandstone building was constructed? Is the building just a high school? Also, note the "school bus" to the right that some students rode: a covered "kid wagon." Image courtesy of the North Royalton Historical Society
"The Annex" This building was erected as a no-frills annex to the North Royalton High School complex on Royalton Road in 1951. After elementary schools were built in the 1950s, the building was converted into administrative offices. It is the only part of the old complex still in existence. As you look at the site today, it still serves the same adminstrative purpose and is still known to district employees as "the Annex." Image courtesy of Cleveland State University Library Special Collections
Bears Football Schedule, 1963 In 1960, longtime teacher, administrator, and superintendent Ernest E. Root resigned as head of the North Royalton School District. The modern high school on Ridge Road (built in 1952) was renamed for him, as can be seen on this 1963 North Royalton varsity football schedule. Image courtesy of the North Royalton Historical Society
Mayor Edgerton With Student, 1967 By 1967, the days of the rural school with the horse-drawn "kid wagons" were long gone. Many students in the city of over 12,000 traveled to school by car. NRHS participated in a national program subsidized by General Motors in which a Green Pennant was raised to mark days without an auto accident within the school zone. Mayor Lester Edgerton helps proudly raise the Green Pennant with a student. Image courtesy of the North Royalton Historical Society
Middle School, 2010 This sprawling Middle School complex was built in the mid-1990s. It replaced the Albion Middle School (now Albion Elementary School) and a 7-year experiment of housing the Middle School in the Ridge Road High School building. No building better illustrates the evolution of North Royalton from a rural to a suburban community in the 20th-century. Image courtesy of Matt Kish
Original Bell This is the original bell used at the old North Royalton High School on Royalton Road. It sat in storage for years before getting restored to commemorate the 100th anniversary of North Royalton High School in 2007. A decorative replica tower was erected near the main entrance of the current High School to house the bell. Image courtesy of Matt Kish

Location

6579 Royalton Rd, North Royalton, OH 44133 | The original high school was located approx. 0.25 mile north of the present-day high school.

Metadata

“North Royalton High School,” Cleveland Historical, accessed May 19, 2022, https://clevelandhistorical.org/items/show/283.