Mt. Carmel High School

History- MCHS Structures
The first graduating class of two in 1882 attended school in a building which stood on a site now occupied by the main entrance to the present high school structure. There was no graduates in 1891, but after that, enrollments and graduations soared, reaching a high of 217 in the class of 1971.

The site of the Old Seminary School, which the first graduates attended, was purchased in 1858 for $300, and has been used for school purposes since then, though the present high school campus has been greatly expanded from these original two lots. After the Seminary building was razed, its name was transferred to a former Catholic school, a white frame building which stood near the present greenhouse, and was used as an elementary school for many years.

The building erected specifically for high school was Lincoln High School, which was completed in 1892 at the corner od Eighth and Mulberry Streets where the Public Library now stands. Later, it became an elementary school variously known as Lincoln and Central. Citizens questioned the safety of students within this building in the 1940’s and its was razed in the late fifties.

In 1914, a complete new high school was opened, facing Second Street between Pear and the bluff. This was a very up-to-date building for its time, providing facilities for manual arts, domestic science, and clerical work, two science laboratories, and a gymnasium with equipment which would be considered elaborate. This gymnasium, gym 2, and the media center are still being used today!

In 1925, with the growing popularity of basketball, additional bleachers and balconies circling the entire gymnasium were installed. the enthusiasm for basketball climaxed with the State Championship of 1927, this led to the construction in 1930 of the new gymnasium with the attached elementary school, or Junior high, as it was called, facing Third Street. The Junior High building was razed in 2000 and a new single floor building was constructed around the 1930 gymnasium.

Twenty years passed before the next round of improvements, which included an agriculture building, music facilities, cafeteria, homemaking wing, and a connecting corridor on the Pear street side between the two buildings. The cafeteria and the agriculture wings are the only parts to still be in use today of these improvements.

The stadium property was acquired in 1948, this having been a community project in the twenties, but never having been put to much use except for a brief period when it was used as a county fairgrounds race track. this facility, with extensive improvements over the years, now gives the school an exceptionally large campus. A concession/team meeting building was added during the early 1990’s, a scorer/announcer/visiting team meeting building was added in the late 1990’s, the all weather track was completed in 2005 and a track storage building transported in 2008. Adjacent with the football game field are a practice field and a band practice area. These projects were sponsored by the Mount Carmel Sports Booster Club, Alumni, individuals and many businesses.

On February 2, 1962 a disastrous fire, of unknown origin, began shortly after midnight. Several fire departments from surroundings towns came to fight the blaze but it was brought under control by the arrival of an Evansville Fire Department snorkel truck. By that time, the 1914 building was gutted and judged totally destroyed, except the library and the old gymnasium.

The rebuilding was a fast moving project. Some consideration was given to moving to a new suburban site, which was the popular trend of that day, but it was decided to remain at the historic location. Between bond sales and insurance money a new structure began in the fall of 1962 and was occupied by the spring of 1964. It was estimated that the entire building areas would be able to house one thousand students, faculty and staff.

It was determined in 1998 to raze the old Junior High building attached to the main gymnasium and build a single floor wing; this was completed for the fall of 2002. this new wing has central air conditioning and houses the music, social studies, business and health/drivers education departments.

During the 2010-2011 school year FFA Alumni, other individuals and businesses raised funds to construct a greenhouse on the bluff side of the school’s property. The greenhouse was completed in the spring of 2011.

With the help of the MCHS Alumni and other interested groups we are attempting to revamp the 1964 auditorium, this would include seating and lighting system.

History-Students, course work, faculty/staff
From the beginning with two graduates, through 1971 with two hundred and seventeen graduates, to 2013 with one hundred and forty graduates, Mount Carmel High School has produced individuals who achieve great things. There have been ninety-nine Hall of Fame inductees with many more to be named over the next five years. Many graduates are respected, influential individuals who become lawyers, doctors, educators, military and governmental leaders; they are your next door neighbor who is hard-working and a treasured member of the neighborhood.

There are many graduates who upon the walls of MCHS: some honored through the MCHS Hall of Fame, others through athletics or music or art. The Alumni continue the dreams of our present students to believe to achieve.

Students from Mount Carmel High School have had the vision to dream and make themselves whatever they want to be. The school has always been in the forefront of educational advances, accredited by North Central Association or AdvancEd, and is now working with Rising Star and Pathways to Results for school improvement. Changes abound for students. Mount Carmel High School began two pathways to career programs using Project Lead the Way (PLTW) format: one in bio-medical study and the other in engineering. At present, students begin in two years of study. Under bio-medical they begin with Principles of Bio-Medical Sciences followed by Human Body Systems, we will added a third course in the fall of 2014. These students will the core for our Health Care Occupations course that MCHS partners with Wabash General Hospital and Wabash Valley College (WVC). The engineering course work begins with Introduction to Engineering Design followed by Principles of Engineering; we will add a third course in the fall of 2014. Some of these students will have opportunities to have instruction at WVC in advanced manufacturing, welding, industrial electricity, robotics, and computer aided drafting. MCHS is working to provide pathways of studies in the student’s desired career field. There are other pathways for students but they are not as defined at the present time.

Students will be encouraged to use logic, rational thoughts to answer problems and projects. Revising papers, projects and assignments will be the norm. MCHS will be leaping into the 21st Century with wireless access, at present several computer labs and a few lap top computers. Students will be asked to interpret information and then use that knowledge to answer complex situations that are realistic to life situations.

All students must take certain State and local required courses: four years of English, three years of mathematics including geometry, two years of science, four years of physical education, two years of social studies, one year of freshman academy and one semester of health. MCHS offers plans for language study in French and Spanish and the suggestion is for at least two years. Elective plans of study can be achieved in agriculture, business technology, art, music, industrial technology, foreign language and family consumer science.

This would be an impossible task after 130 years but I leave this with you, every student has had an effect upon their lives by friends, teachers or coaches that they met here at MCHS and those students have had major affects upon the environment of not only their families, the community, but within the State of Illinois and the nation. The students are the greatest accomplishments of MCHS!!!!

Categories: EducationSchool

201 Pear St.
Mt. Carmel, IL 62863