In the south west corner of the great state of Oklahoma, in Jackson county, located at the intersection of U.S. Highway 62 and 283, is the City of Altus. A city with a rich history to share, involving its school facilities beginnings. Starting from its origins in 1891, creating four different school buildings for the generations of students all the way until its current location on the eastern edge of town, Altus has provided multiple students numerous was to be better educated. The city of Altus, a city with a future to share.
numerous opportunities for students of all kinds to be expressive, be creative,
and to challenge themselves. Preparing many generations with the skills they
would need in real world situations. This barely scratches the surface of what
Altus Public Schools has done for its community. To appreciate this particular
public schools’ history, lets first take a look at where it all began. In the
year of 1891, where the winds come sweeping down the plain had not become
mainstream just yet, Oklahoma was not yet a state. Families who were living in
what is now called Altus, were apart of Old Greer County, Texas. Those settlers
would be in for quite the adventure when a flood storm decimated the nearby
town of Frazer. Citizens of Frazer came together to find a new and safer home.
This is where the story of Altus begins.
With a bright future ahead,
settlers headed east to find higher ground to avoid any possible future
flooding problems. What they came across was a land of endless possibilities.
The new land would be called Leger; however, it would later be changed to
Altus. In the very beginning of its origin, the new public school on the 600
block of North Hudson St, housed around 40 children that attended the newly
constructed building. With it’s unique history, this wouldn’t be the only
building to house the community’s newest generation of students. Unfortunately,
this would be a reality that violently came too soon. With the destructive
tendencies that come with being in “Tornado valley”, a strong windstorm
destroyed the school building. With the start of the 20th century
Altus/Leger still had a bright future ahead. The new building was constructed
on the plot of land between Elm and Cypress street in 1900. This is the current
location of the Washington Elementary School building.
As the town
increased its population count, around September in 1903, the town would pull
together to generate a 9,500-dollar bond that would be utilized for building
another school. It would only take one year for the new facility to be built.
However, as this town’s story progresses, this building would soon be
overfilled with the next generation of students.
Altus continued growing in size the demand for another school building became a
priority. However, when the town held another meeting to discuss pulling
together it’s resources to generate another bond for building a new facility,
it was dismissed. This would not stay permanent, with the thanks to a
re-election and more participation from certain voters. Specifically, at this time women were given
the right to vote in school related elections. From this Altus would begin a
new chapter in its public-school history. Additional classrooms made from brick
were added to the school’s original structure.
forward to 1930 and we begin to see the full picture. Altus needed another bond
to construct it’s fourth school facility. This project took 240,000 dollars to
create the current building for high school students in the city of Altus. It
was set on the eastern edge of the town, on 400 Park Avenue. This is where
current students continue their education and seek windows of extracurricular
opportunities. With close to 900 students enrolled today, Altus high school
continues its tradition with providing their community a safe place to educate
the next generation of world changers. With the average graduation rate being
83%, AHS teachers set up a path of success for its students who attend and go
on to do bigger things to benefit society. Teachers continue to produce bright
and well-educated students. With the average ACT scores setting the bar at a
24, many students go on to further their education at other facilities such as the
University of Oklahoma in Norman. Another one of their top choices for starting
off their college career is a smaller institution locally found in Altus called
Western Oklahoma State College; a local junior college located on 2801 N Main
St. Other popular universities choices include Southwestern Oklahoma State
college in Weatherford, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State University located in