Renovated Ogden High open to the public

Posted at 7:13 PM, Jan 02, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-02 21:13:24-05

OGDEN, Utah - After a multi-million dollar facelift, the public got its first look inside the new face of Ogden High School.

The school was originally commissioned as part of the New Deal and built in 1936, one of the first million-dollar high schools in the country, but its patches weren't working anymore, so the Ogden community approved a multi-million dollar bond to restore the architectural gem.

"It was getting to the point where it wasn't meeting the needs of the kids and there were some safety concerns as well," said Ken Crawford, part of the renovation crew.

At one point, the community considered tearing down the old building and starting new, but alumni and some community members didn't want to lose the important part of history.

"My own children's great-great-great grandfather works at the old Ogden High and the new Ogden High," said principal Stacey Briggs. "So it was really fun as the yearbooks came out of storage into the restored library to go and look at their pictures in the old yearbooks."

The building is on the National Historic Registry, which means architects have to get approval to change anything on the building's exterior.

"So that was one of the challenges we had in the reconstruction. Because of the historic nature there were a lot of guidelines we had to follow," Crawford said.

The renovation took five years and $63 million. Now it's considered earthquake-proof and classrooms have state-of-the-art technology.

Part of the renovation included the school's historic theater, which got more than $9 million in community donations.

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Restored Ogden HS auditorium gets its grand debut