Melrose High School (Massachusetts)

Melrose High School (MHS) is a public high school serving children in grades 912. It is located at 360 Lynn Fells Parkway in Melrose, Massachusetts and is Melrose's only high school. Enrollment for the 20102011 school year is 987 students.[3] The school is accredited by the New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC) and is a member of the METCO program.

Melrose High School
Coordinates42°27′52″N 71°3′57″W
Open enrollment[1]
School districtMelrose Public Schools
PrincipalJason Merrill
Number of students988 (2016-17)[2]
Color(s)Red & White          
MascotRed Raider
RivalsWakefield High School
(Wakefield, MA; borders Melrose to the north)
School TypeNon-vocational high school


1868–1897: first high school

Melrose High School began teaching children in the 1800s and has called several buildings home. The oldest known location is on West Emerson Street where the Melrose Public Library now stands. On March 30, 1868, Melrose appropriated $20,000 for the construction of the high school on a 30,000 sq ft (2,800 m2) lot located on the corner of West Emerson Street and Lake Avenue. An Additional $7,500 was added to the price tag of the school on January 19, 1869 and on July 15, 1869, the school was finished and dedicated. Almost thirty years later on January 25, 1897, a fire destroyed the building.[4]

1898–1931: second high school

The building on West Emerson Street quickly became too small for the growing community and so at the town meeting held on February 24, 1896, the town allocated $100,000 for the building of a new high school. The town selected a lot of land known as the "Old Burial Ground" on Main Street across from the Central Fire Station as the location for the new school building. On August 1, 1898, an additional $3,000 was appropriated for site work around the building. The school was dedicated on September 17, 1898 and at the time, was one of the "finest school buildings to be found in New England".[4] Two additional wings were added to the main building and opened in 1909.[5]

1932–1974: third high school

In 1932, another new school was built and the previous school building became the Calvin Coolidge Elementary School. This time the new building was built on swamp land taken from Ell Pond on Lynn Fells Parkway. It was a very large school, featuring a 900-seat Auditorium and a full size gymnasium. 1961 saw the addition of the Daffinee Gymnasium which contained new locker rooms for both basketball and football and also extra classroom space. The addition also included the construction of a three-floor annex attached by a bridge.[6] Many historians praised the main building for its period design and architectural beauty.

1975–2004: fourth high school

In 1975, a new "modern" Melrose High School opened next-door to the old one, which became the middle school. This building is renowned for its "open spaces," which were large open areas with movable walls.[7] Less than half of the buildings classrooms were in open spaces and the rest were triangular in shape. The school was supposedly built by an architect who also designed prisons and the building style reflects this. Numerous classrooms contain no windows and masonry is the main building material. Windows appear in a select few classrooms and are plentiful, yet most don't open. There is a constantly running air circulation system to combat the window problem and this also cools the building in the summer.

2005–present: renovations

In Summer 2005, walls were constructed in the second- and third-floor open spaces creating fourteen separate classrooms. The work was done in conjunction with the project to build a new middle school on the site of the third high school and done as a requirement of an NEASC accreditation report.[7][8] For two years while the construction of the new middle school occurred, eighth-graders occupied the new classrooms. After Summer 2007, regular high school classes resumed in the former open space.

On October 16, 2007, Mayor Robert Dolan announced that the building would undergo major renovations within the next four years. The $3–4 million renovation will include the installation of "SmartBoards" in all 78 classrooms, improved lighting, roof replacement, and repainting the entire school.[9] The first phase, with construction that occurred in Summer 2008, costing $1.44 million and was for the installation and purchase of the "SmartBoards" and the electrical work needed to accommodate the additional technology for the boards. This phase also added or improved internet, phone, and cable television connections throughout the school.[9] By the start of the 2008-09 school year, September 4, 2008, 70 fixed position smart boards and four portable ones were ready for use.[10]

During the year 2012 to 2013 the high school underwent major renovation of its science classrooms. The school put money into replacing all of its dated science classrooms with ones that include updated appliances and labs. The classrooms were finished and ready for use in September 2013. The newly renovated classrooms were completed with new computers and state of the art labs.

School life

The school has several successful sports programs, the most notable being the recent success of the girls volleyball, boys football, and girls lacrosse. In 2014, the girls varsity lacrosse team made the playoffs, the first time in the programs history. Also notable are its wide array of clubs, many of which are active within the community.

Notable alumni and faculty


  2. "Melrose High". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  3. "Enrollment Dataurl=". Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Archived from the original on 2018-02-08. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  4. Goss, Elbridge Henry (1902). The History of Melrose. Melrose, MA: A. W. Dunton & Co. pp. 192–200.
  5. Staff (September 2, 1909). "Melrose High School Opening". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved September 28, 2010.
  6. "Schools Section of the Master Plan". City of Melrose. 2002. Archived from the original on August 20, 2006. Retrieved 2008-08-23.
  7. "Melrose Public Schools – Strategic Plan". Melrose Public Schools. 2005-12-o1. Archived from the original on October 17, 2006. Retrieved 2008-08-23. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. "Development Discussed". The Boston Globe. 2005-12-18. Retrieved 2008-07-20.
  9. Demaina, Daniel (2007-10-18). "Mayor announces plan to revitalize high school". Melrose Free Press. GateHouse Media. Archived from the original on 2013-02-09. Retrieved 2008-01-25.
  10. DeMaina, Daniel (2008-09-03). "Schools' physical changes: Technology upgrades, Franklin renovations highlight summer changes". Melrose Free Press. GateHouse Media. Retrieved 2008-09-04.
  11. Leonard, Mary (1999-09-21). "Dole Returns to Melrose Classroom". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-07-20.
  12. Staff. "Players - Ryan Johnson". Major League Soccer. Retrieved April 18, 2010.
  13. Peak, Mayme Ober (August 20, 1931). "Selection of 'Baby Stars' Causes Row in Filmdom". The Boston Globe. Massachusetts, Boston. p. 26. Retrieved July 12, 2018 via
  14. Frantzdy Pierrot
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