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New Albany Bicentennial

July 16, 2013

NEW ALBANY BICENTENNIAL: The history of NAHS

(Continued)

NEW ALBANY —

For a little over a year, the new school ran smoothly. But an Indiana Supreme Court ruling in 1855 would soon change all that. 

In the decision, the justices determined that taxes could not be used to fund local educational institutions. Most public schools in the state were immediately shut down. The following year, the legislature amended the Indiana Constitution and allowed for the funding from taxation. Scribner High School reopened in January 1856 with 244 students. The Indiana Supreme Court made a similar ruling in 1858, once again shutting down the school only to have it nullified by the legislature the following September. 

About this time, arguments over slavery and secession started to pipe up in the southern states. When these quarrels turned into the Civil War, Scribner High School closed its doors, becoming instead a hospital for Union soldiers. 

At the end of the war, the school again began accepting students. By 1870, two separate public institutions differentiated by sex served area students: the New Albany Boys High School and the New Albany Female High School. Ten years later, the schools once again merged and occupied the current Carnegie Center lot. After one more move in 1905 to East Sixth and Spring, New Albany High School would be moved to its current location on Vincennes Aveune in 1928. 

Since that time, some improvements have been made. 

“New Albany High School stayed pretty much the same until about 1973 when the boys’ basketball team won the state basketball championship,” said Vic Megenity, a former New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp. teacher and a local historian. “As a result, the general public agreed that, ‘Hey, we need to do something to NAHS.’ So they expanded the building and added on a swimming pool and expanded the gym.”  

Other than winning state sports’ titles, the high school on Vincennes also founded WNAS-FM (88.1) in 1949, the first student-run school radio station in the nation. Author Steve Warren in his work “Radio: The Book” listed spelling shows, storytelling, community news, science and coverage of high school sports events as being some of the things WNAS has covered. 

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