Technical High School (Omaha, Nebraska)
|Technical High School|
3215 Cuming Street|
|Type||Public vocational education high school|
|School district||Omaha Public Schools|
|Grades||10, 11, 12|
Coordinates: 41°16′0.59″N 95°57′36.26″W / 41.2668306°N 95.9600722°W Technical High School was a public high school that was located at 3215 Cuming Street in Omaha, Nebraska. Opened in 1923, the school was said to be the largest high school west of Chicago. It was the largest in the Omaha area before it was closed in 1984. Today the building serves as the headquarters of Omaha Public Schools.
The five-winged building and large athletic field occupied 3 city blocks between Burt and Cuming Streets, from 30th to 33rd Streets in North Omaha. The new school opened on October 15, 1923, with nearly 2,400 pupils. By 1940 enrollment had reached 3,684.
As a high school focused on technical education, Tech had many amenities designed to teach students in specific areas. For athletics, there were 2 large gymnasiums and a swimming pool, which was for many years the only pool in any Omaha public school. The roof of the building featured a deck with a canopy that housed an exercise area.
For home economics there was an entire floor dedicated to classrooms. There were extensive wood and metal shops, as well as scientific laboratories, and a greenhouse. The building had 124 rooms. As early as 1947, there were 2,700 students and 100 teachers. Developed with high academic standards the school was a forerunner in vocational high schools by offering students that largely choose not to continue on to college the opportunity to learn a trade or profession.
There was a high school radio station at Tech in the 1920s, whose call letters were KFOX.
The auditorium at the school was built to accommodate 2600 people (legal seating capacity was listed at 2120). John Philip Sousa and his marching band appeared in October 1928. Cornelia Otis Skinner made her first high school appearance at Tech in January 1930. In November 1926 the Metropolitan Opera Company of New York gave a performance. Helen Hayes and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. also gave performances at Tech.
In the 1960s the Black Association for Nationalism Through Unity was unsuccessful at starting a chapter at Tech, although one of its leaders became a student government official.
After the school closed in 1984, the building was completely renovated for use as the Omaha Public Schools central office. It also serves as a home for the Career Center and Adult Education programs, serving 700-plus students daily.
alphabetical by last name
- Ron Boone, professional basketball player
- Bob Boozer, college and professional basketball player and Olympic Gold Medalist in 1960
- Captain Alfonza W. Davis, Tuskegee Airman
- Sen. Ernie Chambers, 11th District, Nebraska State Legislature in 1955
- James Dworak, former Omaha mayor
- Bob Gibson, Baseball Hall of Famer for the St. Louis Cardinals and Creighton University stand-out
- Mel Harder, professional baseball player
- Fred Hare, former college and professional basketball player
- Louis Hartz, former American political scientist and influential proponent of the idea of American exceptionalism
- Jim Houston, national rodeo champion
- Roman Hruska, former US Senator
- Johnny Rodgers, former college football superstar, Heisman Trophy winner, and voted the University of Nebraska's "Player of the Century"
- Johnny Rosenblatt, former Omaha mayor
- Jack Urban, former MLB player (Kansas City Athletics, St. Louis Cardinals)
- Brigadier General Kenneth Walker, US Army Air Corps, posthumous recipient of the Medal of Honor in World War II, and pioneer in military aviation
- Les Webster, college and professional football player for the Cincinnati Bengals
- Lucille Wilson, 3x United States women’s track team in the Olympics
- Phil Wise, college and professional football player
- John Beasley, actor and noted acting coach. Co-starred in the Academy Award winning film, The Apostle
- (n.d.) History of Tech High. Gifford Park Neighborhood Association.
- Gifford Park Neighborhood Ass't
- United States Government Printing Office. (1971) United States Congressional Serial Set. p. 84.
- (n.d.) About Technical High School
- History of Opera Omaha.
- Brookins, J. (1925) "Drama in a Technical High School," Peabody Journal of Education. 2(4) pp. 190–196