Historic Albuquerque high school gets makeover

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – One of the oldest high schools in Albuquerque is getting a new look.

Highland High School was built in 1949 in what was once the southeast edge of Albuquerque.

Mike Goodrich graduated from Highland High in 1984. His son is a senior there.

“We have just lived in the neighborhood for decades now and Highland has been at the center of all our lives,” said Goodrich.

From its brick decor and a courtyard that has been used in movie shoots to its Hoosiers like gym, it’s easy to see what makes Highland so historic.

However, the school is showing its age. For example, the girls locker room is in disrepair.

“The plumbing is old. It’s 45, 50-years-old. It’s cramped,” said Albuquerque Public Schools Capital Master Plan Executive Director Kizito Wijenje.

The locker room problems are one of the reasons why the school is getting a renovation.

“The workforce needs 21st century skills, so we have to bring Highland to make sure the facility is a 21st century facility,” said Wijenje.

The makeover is part of about a 6-year-renovation that will include a bigger gym, a new performing arts center and a campus plaza.

“We love our school, but it’s time. It needs an update,” said Goodrich.

The goal is to give Highland a much needed update while preserving its rich history.

The main building will get a new roof, but its old school look will stay.

It’s something Goodrich said he and fellow graduates are grateful for.

“This will be APS’s pride and jewel again,” said Goodrich. “It will not only be the best school on the inside, it will look like the greatest high school on the outside.”

APS also plans on keeping the original hardwood floor in the school gym.

The entire makeover would cost about $72 million.

Voters still have to pass a bond to fund the renovation.

If it passes in February, construction would start as soon as next summer.

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