EDMOND — The $3.3 million renovation of Edmond's Boulevard Academy impressed former students and others who strolled its corridors during a recent open house.
Boulevard Academy, now an alternative high school, was Edmond's first high school in 1924. At 214 N Boulevard, it's had many functions, serving as an administrative center, junior high and eighth-grade center.
On Monday, many who have attended there returned to revisit. The remodeled Boulevard has up-to-date classrooms, science and computer rooms and even an elevator to the second floor.
Tad Kennedy, who attended junior high in the 1970s, wished he could have had access to an elevator when he was a student.
“I ran track and broke my foot on the hurdles,” he said. “Climbing these stairs was painful.
“They seemed about three times as long as this,” he added, while pointing at the staircase.
John Stone, 92, graduated from the school in 1939.
“This really brings back memories,” he said. “I like the way they modernized the building. It's just beautiful.”
School officials, planning the renovation, walked a thin line between not drastically changing the heritage or character of Boulevard and giving the school the improvements it needed. The bond-approved project work started in August 2012.
“It looks great,” Stone said, noting his three children also attended Edmond schools, including Boulevard. One of his children, Clint Stone, noted a part of the school that hadn't changed.
“The gym still smells the same,” Clint Stone said. He attended Boulevard in the 1960s, when it was a junior high.
He shared another memory, as many did during the night.
“We had a problem there for awhile with guys popping each other with towels,” Clint Stone said. “The principal decided to just call all the boys to the gym and gave each of us a lick.”