• Did You Know Arlington Heights Wasn't Always Arlington Heights? Or Located "On the Hill"?

    Arlington Heights High School History 
    (not verified – anecdotal)

    Stripling 1930Overview: Construction of this elegant high school building was funded by the W.P.A. in 1936-37 to replace the smaller W. C. Stripling High School on Clover Lane.  The building was designed by Preston M. Geren and built by Butcher and Sweeney.  The design is Georgian Revival and the symmetrical façade features red brick with a gabled roof center section with two story wings housing the Auditorium and Gymnasium.  A central, forward projecting portico on the front and rear of the original building serves as the main entrance.  The crossing of the two gables are highlighted by a cupola and lantern.  Arlington Heights sits on a hilltop with a commanding view out the back of the building over the Trinity River Valley.  The site was formally landscaped with a grand stairway leading out the rear of the school to the grounds.  In 1950 and 1958, wings were added to the rear of the building on the east and west sides, yet still keeping the grand stair intact.  In 1980, another addition connected the two wings, thereby enclosing the stair within a split level courtyard.  Another addition, completed in 2004, expanded the band hall, added a dance studio and six classrooms.

    Names and Locations:  The school was called, at different times, Arlington Heights Public School, Arlington Heights School, Arlington Heights High School and Stripling High Schooland was located in several different buildings on the west side of Fort Worth. 
    1896 - 1909  Arlington Heights Public School at 5300 Pershing Avenue (built in 1896).  All grades were housed in this building. 
    1909 – 1922  Arlington Heights School at 5100 El Campo Ave (built in 1909).  All grades were housed in one building.)
    1922 - 1926  Arlington Heights High School at 5100 El Campo Ave. (now Boulevard Heights Elementary, a complex of three buildings built in 1909, 1922, and 1954.)  After it was built, the high school was housed in the 1922 building.  One yearbook account (1925) indicates that before this building was built in 1921-1922 the high school classes were taught in a building formerly belonging to Camp Travis, an army camp situated on Camp Bowie Boulevard. 
    1927 – 1937  Became Stripling High School for ten years at 2100 Clover Lane (built in 1927) (now Stripling Middle School)
    1936 - 1937   Arlington Heights High School was built by the W.P.A. in its current location.

    Additions to the original 1927 building:
    1936  Main building, includes cafeteria, gym, library, auditorium and band hall (which became the ROTC room and is now used by the Theater Department)
    1950  East wing, includes new band hall (now choir room) – an eight-room, 2-story annex (east wing) was completed in 1950.  In the 

    Back of Heights 1937

    mid 1950s, another addition was constructed that included 12 classrooms (lower two floors of the west wing?) and enlarged the cafeteria (extended to the south in the direction of the west wing classrooms – the south 1/3 of the current cafeteria used to be the kitchen and the new kitchen was added to the west?) and library (then located in the second floor of the main building, in the middle facing north – expanded by knocking down an interior wall and converting a classroom to library space???).  Perhaps the third floor was added two years later?
    1958  West wing, includes shops at basement level.  (Could have been completed on the exterior with the third floor “shelled out” – only the roof, windows, and walls were constructed, but no functions or finishes are put in the space.  Then in 1958, the interior of the third floor might have been completed when the district had the funds or the school actually had the need for the extra space.)
    1980  South wing, includes new library and band hall.  This addition was lamented as it disrupted the view of the main building from the south.  The detail of the southern face is considerably more intricate than that of the north.  Also, the new addition reduced the patio area from being truly open-air, with a grassy commons leading to the athletic fields, to a paved-over courtyard.
    1988 - 1989  New addition appended onto the southeast corner of existing campus.  Allegedly, funding for this expansion came from the 80 feet of the front lawn the school had to surrender for the second widening of I-30
    2004   A building addition was constructed to include a new dance studio, six new classrooms, two restrooms and mechanical/electrical spaces.  The addition totaled 12,600 square feet.  The existing building totals 149,600 square feet.  The project also included upgrades to the existing mechanical system, replacement of the existing fire alarm system and ADA renovations, including one new elevator in the existing building.  The main entry steps were replaced and ramps were added with a cast stone balustrade.  A new fire lane was constructed to access the building addition at the rear of the school.
    Other additions through the years:
    • The new gymnasium

    Front of Heights 1937

    • Additional tennis courts
    • Fieldhouse expansions
    • Covered practice field
    Lost and lamented:
    • The amphitheater where the west parking lot now sits
    • The gazebo on the south edge of campus on the middle field
    • “The wall,” torn down for the construction of the 1980 addition
    • Ornamental globes on top of the facades of the auditorium and gymnasium
    Note:  Arlington Heights is not the city’s oldest high school.  That title belongs to Paschal which traces its origins all the way back to 1885.  Paschal had several name changes over the years, but the name was always changed while they were in a particular building, not when they moved from one building to another like Arlington Heights.