Who We Are

Princeton High School was established in the fall of 1867 as a classical boarding school and is said to have been the first township high school in the State of Illinois. Students from Princeton and the surrounding area studied such subjects as English, Latin, mathematics, history, and the sciences. The first class graduated in 1869. 

Because of an increase in student population, the building was remodeled and enlarged in 1894 and again in 1908. Then, on December 15, 1924, P.H.S. was completely destroyed by fire.

Plans were made immediately for the construction of a new building. During the next year and one-half, school activities were carried on in the City Hall, the Post Office, and the Christian and Mission Covenant Churches.

The doors of the new school were opened September 27, 1926. The new building, 350 feet long and 100 feet wide, contained twenty classrooms; an auditorium seating 1,100; a library; a science lecture room; chemistry, physics and botanical laboratories; and a gymnasium.

During the summer of 1958, work began on a new addition and the remodeling of several classrooms in the main building to meet increased present and future enrollments. Facilities of the new addition included the following: a new English classroom, an art room, industrial arts classroom and shop, agriculture classroom and shop, cafeteria-study hall, and Prouty Gymnasium. Remodeling of the main building provided for expansion of the speech-English accommodations, expansion of the business education space, and a new library.

In 1970, a new facility was constructed at the south end of the campus to help alleviate the shortage of classrooms.

In the spring of 1985, Cherrie Science Addition was started, which connected the 1926 building and the 1958 addition. This new facility was finished in 1986 with adequate space for science, special education, and drama, as well as providing access to all areas of the school for the handicapped.

During the 1990s, two major projects were completed due to the generous contributions of our school community. An all-weather track was completed on Bryant Field and was dedicated as the Frank and Marion Rathje Track in 1997. The Princeton High School Foundation raised over 1 million dollars to renovate the auditorium. The new Sally Skinner Council Auditorium was dedicated in November of 1999.  Our school continues to grow and to improve with the generosity of our supportive community.

In the summer of 2003, an extensive renovation of the 1926 building was completed. Improvements included new classroom lighting, wiring, ventilation, walls, ceilings, and flooring. In the spring of 2004, work began on the renovation of the cafeteria, Prouty Gymnasium locker rooms, and the classrooms in the lower level. Once again, improvements were made in all aspects of the physical plant. Our newly remodeled, state-of-the-art cafeteria and kitchen are the capstone of the refurbishing.

In the fall of 2004, the classroom and Media Center (LRC) addition began with eight new classrooms, a new TLC, additional stairs, bathrooms and elevator. On the first floor, two Art classrooms with storage and an office were designed in what was once the library. The girls’ locker room and PE offices were also improved. Our students will continue to benefit as our school marches into the future!