ONHS turns 50


Lexy Simpson, Writer

  Bring out the cake and light the candles, Oshkosh North turned 50 this year!

Built in 1972 to serve the growing population of Oshkosh, the exterior of the building isn’t significantly different from when it was built. However, it has changed significantly inside, and the outside surroundings have changed quite a bit.

Most noticeably, North did not have walls separating classrooms on the second floor. During the 1970s, it was very common to have an open floor plan in new buildings, which allowed students to have the freedom to learn and explore their education individually. North’s second floor didn’t have walls until sometime after 1982.

The lack of walls built into the original plan still affects us today.

“You can hear everything so clearly in the surrounding classrooms because of our paper thin walls,” says Principal Jacquelyn Kiffmeyer.

Walls have also been built in response to the growing reliance on technology at school. Technology has come and gone, and so too have a number of computer labs.  For example, Mr. Leib’s classroom, L

“The real reason for this wave of technology coming and going is because of the newer technology coming in,” says Mr. Rick Leib, current Communities teacher.

Now, only a few computer labs remain, such as the one near the bottom of the spiral staircase, and only exist because they have software that cannot be downloaded on Chromebooks.

While school computer labs have decreased, the number of classes that are technology based have increased.

L2, used to be a big computer lab. The Innovation in the upstairs media center also used to house a computer lab. 

 Some of these courses include 3D Animation, Essentials of Electronics, and Web Page Design/HTML, which is provided through the Fox Valley Technical College.

Over the years, more walls were constructed to expand the building itself, rather than just re-purposing parts of the pre-existing facility.

“The gym is the one thing that changed structurally and hasn’t gone without notice,” says Rick Leib. 

Many additions have been added to the gym since 1972. At first, there were two boys locker rooms and one girls locker room. Now, there are two locker rooms for each gender. However, only the boys had access to the weight room.

“Technically there was a weight room, but you had to go through the boys locker room to get to it, making it only accessible for men’s usage,” Leib says.

 The weight room we know today was built on as well as the training room

In addition, inside of the actual gym where our pep rallies and Homecoming dance are held, there were no hardwood floors. Instead, there were rubber floors with a big “O” for Oshkosh. Now we have a big “O N” for Oshkosh North. Hanging above the big O was a big score clock for games inside instead of the scoreboards on the opposite corners of the gym.

 Filling the gym were wooden bleachers for students to sit on during the traditional senior class photo. In 2015, another renovation in the gym took place, replacing all of the wooden bleachers with green and gold colored seats. 

Outside the walls, Oshkosh North has significantly changed. 

Due to the increase in student population, the parking lot started to get crammed. Since 1972 the parking lot has doubled in size. In fact, the parking lot did not go past the gym area. Over what is now the baseball field was grassland.

Additionally, there was no  sidewalk leading from the door 7 parking lot to the entrance, so there were big pools of water due to flooding. When the sidewalks were built, the flooding problem dissolved.

Another surprising change occurred with how students enter the building. According to counseling secretary Kimberly Boycks, who graduated from North in 1995, walking into school didn’t start at Door 7. Technically, the school entrance started at the three doors that lead to Door 7.

Luckily the planners and developers of Oshkosh North allowed for North to expand and divide its spaces. Likely, the district will continue to re-purpose parts of the facilities to adapt to the ever-changing needs of students, staff, and the community In fact, North received referendum funds to construct a new entrance outside of door 1, but the money has been redirected to the construction of the new middle school.