The first school in Concord was established in 1731. At the turn of the 19th Century, three school houses existed throughout the city, and courses were provided on a "pay-as-you-go" format. In 1807 the town was divided into three school districts, (Districts 9, 10, and 11), and prospective students were geographically bound as to which schoolhouse they could attend.
In 1845 the state legislature enacted the "High School Law" permitting public taxation to support the establishment of high schools in the state. The following year, Concord's first high school was established, and the town's first high school students convened on the upper floor of the "Bell House School," District 10's building on the corner of State and School Streets.
In an effort to unify the curriculum of the three districts so that the high school students would be similarly prepared, they consolidated to form the Union School District in 1856. In 1862, the first superintendent was hired &endash; Henry Sawyer, the high school principal, who now had to devote part of his time to the lower grades. Two years later a new high school was built at a cost of $30,000. This new, three-story building was "state-of-the-art," with elementary classes on the bottom floor, and high school students meeting on the upper two floors. This school, considered at the time to be one of the best schoolhouses in New England, stood for 16 years until it was destroyed by a fire that started in the high school chemistry lab.
The students spent a year and a half in City Hall while another high school was built on the same site. The new high school opened in 1890, and for the first time high school students occupied the entire facility while a building for the lower grades was built on Spring Street. Military drill came into the curriculum in 1893, and its end-of-the-year Military Ball has become a tradition at CHS, and is now known as the Senior Levee.
1842-1861 Timeline with photographs
1862-1900 Timeline with photographs
By 1904, with a record 354 students jammed into a 200-seat facility, a new Concord High School (the fourth) was built on Spring Street in the building which is now Kimball School. The school district went to an 11-year system (reducing high school from 4 to 3 years), and the curriculum was modified so that students had to choose a particular course of study once they reached the ninth grade. Choices included College Prep, Academic Studies, Commercial Studies, Mechanical Art (boys), or Domestic Art (girls), and there were now two graduations &endash; one in January and one in June.
Student enrollment continued to rise, and in 1927 another school was built, this the fifth facility of CHS, and located on the school's current site at Warren Street.
1901-1925 Timeline with photographs
1926-1950 Timeline with photographs
In 1961, a gymnasium, cafeteria, and shop wing were added to the original Warren Street building. The "open campus" was experimented with in the 1970's, and in 1980, the school underwent major renovations with the addition of a new vocational wing. This wing, now called the Concord Regional Technology Center at Concord High School, is committed to over five hundred and fifty students from twenty-nine towns.
Faculty and students remained in the building during the 1995-96 school year when CHS began a twenty-three million dollar addition and renovation. In the fall of 1995 an east building was added to the campus, and by the fall of 1996, this new east building was connected by a glass sky walk to a completely renovated and refurbished "old" west building.
The Concord High campus now sports a new media center, student center (cafeteria), performing arts area, and four commons area, each with its own administrative and student community. The campus currently houses over 1,500 students with a capacity for eighteen hundred. Despite the new look of the campus, the characteristic stone pillars remain unchanged and continue to uphold the tradition of excellence that Concord High School represents.
1951-PRESENT Timeline with photographs