Explore Palm Springs: Palm Springs High School

Bond issue leads to city's first high school

The location of this photo on Ramon Road is exactly in the spot where Palm Springs High School is today. The street address in 2701 Baristo, but that is a modern address after the high school grew to incorporate the whole block.

Courtesy of the Palm Springs Historical Society


The first high school in Palm Springs became a reality Sept. 22, 1936 with the passage of a bond issue.

Before Palm Springs High School was built, students were bussed daily to Banning Union High School for classes.

Two proposed locations for the new school were toured by Charles Bursch, chief of schoolhouse planning for the state of California, Principle Bean of the Union High School District and some prominent local residents including Raymond Cree and Nellie Coffman.

One of the proposed locations was near the mouth of Chino Canyon and the other fronted Ramon Road just east of the Field Club, which today would be located at the corner of Ramon Road and Sunrise Way. The second location was chosen by the state official.

Stanley G. Wilson, an architect from Riverside, was chosen to draw the plans for the new school buildings for both Palm Springs and Banning Union high schools. The Palm Springs plans called for two large east-west wings, separated some distance from each other and joined by a covered walk.

Sixteen construction companies submitted bids with Pinkerton-Jamison Construction awarded the contract, allotting $266,000 to build both high schools. Palm Springs High School was completed in June of 1938. In September, 150 students started in their brand new school.

As Palm Springs celebrates its 75th anniversary, there are a multitude of ways to learn more about this desert treasure. One of the more intriguing methods is by exploring the city’s history.

Weekly, the Palm Springs Historical Society will share a story whose time and place corresponds with today.

The Palm Springs Historical is located at 221 S. Palm Canyon Drive. For more information, visit www.pshistoricalsociety.org

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