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School History

University High School

 1933 - 2008


2008 - Present

The Founder

Jasper Newton Deahl
Born: April 19, 1859 
Lived: Barbour County, Va. (Now West Virginia) 
School's Attended: Fairmont Normal School, West Virginia University, Peabody Normal School, University of Nashville, Harvard University, Columbia University

The Creation

The first University Demonstration High School was open in September, 1925, in the Old Tea Room on the corner of Spruce and Willey Streets. This school had 35 students and a faculty of 3 superior teachers. The teachers, Misses Sylvia Soupart, Lucy Coplin, and May Wilt, were recruited away from Morgantown High.

By 1928, there were 202 students. With the need for larger rooms, the school changed locations. The next location was on the fourth floor of a red brick building on the corner of Stewart Street and University Avenue. In the new building there was a gas station on the first floor, a garage on the second floor and University High was located on the third and fourth floors.

In 1931, the school made a third move. It moved into the old library on the West Virginia University Campus. The students enjoyed the use of Elizabeth Moore Hall, Commencement Hall, and several of the other University facilities. They stayed there until the completion of University Demonstration High School.

In September 1933, University Demonstration High School was completed. It was, and still is located at the top of North Price Street. The estimated cost of the building was $283,837. The construction of the school started in late 1930 at a site located in University Heights. November 18, 1930, the cornerstone for University Demonstration High School was put in place. There were numerous delays and problems with the construction of the school. The expected completion date had to be extended to 1933. The building when completed was 3 stories high and could house up to 500 students.

The Mission

The instruction plan at University Demonstration High School was like no other high school plan. The curriculum was pragmatic and experimental. The instruction was a unit which included integrated subjects. The units consisted of long assignments, study-learning-teaching workshops, classroom library periods, individual and group conferences, and individual study. The students participated in planning, organizing, and controlling the school.

Teachers guided, challenged, and encouraged the students. They didn't lecture, dictate, or use command style methods while teaching. Problems were solved as a group or with the assistance of a teacher. There were no grades, instead a student was evaluated on achievement of attitudes, appreciation, ideals, skills, and knowledge. This enabled students to make a satisfactory adjustment to the adult social, civic, educational, and economic life. 

The progressive curriculum (based on the Dalton Plan) pioneered innovations in education throughout the United States including our current model of student council. University High School's mission was far ahead of its time in the field of education. 

Changes Through the Years

In 1972, West Virginia University turned University High School over to Monongalia County Board of Education. The turnover was an effort to increase funding (through Mon County) to increase the quality of educational opportunities for the students.

There was no major construction on UHS from the completion of the main building, in 1933, until 1972. In 1972, a small annex was placed at the end of the building. This annex building was the home to an industrial arts laboratory, two general classrooms, restrooms, an office, and storage areas.

In 1978, a gymnasium that was badly needed was added onto the school. It had a seating capacity of 1,300 people, a multi purpose lobby, locker rooms, and one general purpose classroom.

In 1991-1992, more construction was done to UHS. The first phase of construction included a new kitchen, a multi-purpose cafeteria, and a new band room. The second of phase construction was the new tower addition. The tower included new home economics and art areas, two fully equipped laboratory science rooms, a computer lab, ten general classrooms, an elevator, restrooms, and student lockers. This addition was completed by the 1993-1994 school year.

By the end of the 1990-1991 school year, there was around 600 students enrolled at UHS. In the fall of 1991, 121 Bruceton students enrolled at UHS. Starting during the 1993-1994 school year, ninth graders were enrolled at UHS. In the fall of 1993 nearly 1,300 students were enrolled. The overcrowding problem lead to the need for temporary classrooms. This need brought six trailers to UHS. 

In the 2000-2001 school year, additional rooms may be needed to provide enough space for another increase in enrollment. Solutions to this overcrowding problem are currently being explored.
In the fall of 2003 Monongalia County citizens passed a bond which included the construction of a new University High school to be located off of Bakers Ridge Road.

Mylan Pharmaceuticals Stadium opened in September of 2008.

On Wednesday, November 19, 2008 the old school on Price Street welcomed students for the last time. Students started school at the new location on December 3, 2008.

About the School

Originally: "Red Leopards" (1931) 
Changed to "Hilltoppers" in late 1930's 
Changed to "Hilltopper Hawks" in 1973 
Became "Hawks" in 1974 (According to Year Book Info) 

School Colors: 
Originally: Crimson Red, White, and Old Gold 
Old Gold changed to Yellow Gold in late 1930's 
Current Red - Scarlet 

Fight Song: 
Titled: "Fight U High" 
Written by Sidney Lee (UHS - class of 1939) 
Written in 1942 (in a fox hole during WWII)

State Champions: Girls' Soccer in 2009
State Champions: Girls' Cross Country (2007 and 2008)
State Champions: Boys' Cross Country (2006)
State Champions: Wrestling (1956) 
State Runner Ups: Wrestling (1955) Football (1994) 
Individual State Champions: 
Wrestling-Derrick Jefferson....1976 
Wrestling-Joe Panico....1980 
Wrestling - Kyle Turnbull....2004....119 pound weight class 
Wrestling - David Campbell....2004....152 pound weight class 
Undefeated Football Seasons: 1946-47, 1947-48, 1999-2000 
Longest Football Winning Streak: 19 (1998-2000) 
Undefeated Girls Basketball Season: 1974-75 
Outstanding Girls Basketball Seasons: 
1988 (24-1)
1993 (19-1)
2004 (18-7) State Tournament


A History of University Demonstration High School written by John W. Kelley

Web Page by Jill Neer and Felicia Myers