St. Mary Central High School – SMC – Menasha, WI – Memories of the building / layout in the 1990’s.

Photo history unknown. St. Mary Central High School and Church.

My experience at St. Mary Central High School holds a unique place in its history. In 1997, I was part of the graduating class that witnessed the end of an era – we were the last to walk the halls before the school on 2nd Street in Menasha was demolished. The closure marked the end of a long chapter for the property, leaving behind a legacy of educating young minds for many years.

While a bittersweet moment, it excitingly coincided with the opening of a brand new St. Mary Central High School in Neenah, Wisconsin that same fall. It felt like witnessing the torch being passed, ensuring a continued legacy of education for future generations.

The main 3 story building you can see in the photo above was the main school.

Walking into the first flood from the 2nd street entrance; On the left was the administrative offices, on the right, around the corner was the main student office, which contained the copier and mimigraph in a back room. There was a room with a safe, an area for students to lay down when ill and the main office.

Continuing from the entrance, you walk into a center hallway, with the chapel on the left and conference room on the right.

Continuing forward, you come to a large open hallway, to the left goes to the Gym and to the right is an exit / stair going up.

Continuing forward again, we have the band room on the left and rooms that where used for storage in the 90’s on the right. At the end of this hallway, were the back stairs going to all 3 levels, which can be seen on the outside of the building on the 3rd street side.

The second flood from the 2nd street side, was an english / speech class room on the left, and on the right was the computer lab.

Continuing forward, we have a homeroom on the left and a computer classroom of the right, which as I recall also had a business class of some sorts.

Continuing to the last section, past the steps, we have the Library on the left, which also houses the macintosh computers in the 90’s. On the right was english / home room class room. At the end of the hall was another home room on the right and foreign language room on the left.

The 3rd flood from the 2nd street side, was the Art room on the left and science lab on the right.

Continuing forward, in the center section, we had the clay room on the left and the right was either storage or a classroom that I don’t recall being used a lot.

Continuing forward, back into the stairwell, there were stairs to the roof that I never managed to get to see.


Moving forward once again to the last section, we had the chemistry room to the left, follow by the chemistry lab to the left at the end of the hallway.

To the right we had a math room and at the end of the hall was mostly a study hall as I recall.

In description of the photo below; The building on the right was used for the grade school only as far as I was aware, as well as the lower floor on the one on the left.

The second floor in the building on the left was for the high school. Starting from the second street side, we had a study hall room on the left, religion towards the center, followed by a math classroom at the end. On the right was social studies then a room that was used for teaching drivers ed and perhaps some classes that I don’t recall clearly, maybe something to do with physical fitness.

Restrooms were on the right after that last classroom, followed by the councilors room.

Looking at this lower picture; to the top left of the photo was the gymnasium, stage, with the cafeteria in the basement. The back of the cafeteria was a storage room with a lot of stuff in it, some used for theatre productions. The basement also contained locker rooms of Gym that were more under the school building than the Gym.

The Gym / stage was used for assembly, theatre, etc. I helped put on and was in several plays. We had a old scaffolding I would have to climb to rig the lights for the stage. I usually was the one to get out the microphone for events when I was at school there and adjust the levels. There was a room to the right side with a spot light we used for performances or to take videos of events / plays.

To the back side of the Gym, there was a kitchen / soda machine area used for events.

Image dated 1985; Credit Wisconsin Historical Society.
https://www.wisconsinhistory.org/Records/Property/HI59140

Aerial View of St. Mary Central High School. Author of photo unknown.

Photos are thought to be public domain & or fair use under copyright law as these are being used for educational and commentary purposes. If you claim ownership of the above images, contact jamiedolan on gmail.
https://case.edu/library/research/digital-scholarship-cwru/copyright/fair-use-exception-copyright

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