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     sARTICLES    --    SCHOOL HISTORY:                   LIFE IN 1966 VS NOW »   


San Carlos High School lasted for 21 years on its hilltop location on Melendy Drive, now the site of luxury homes and Highlands Park. It opened in September of 1960, with an enrollment of 1,015 students, and 56 faculty members. The class of 1964, was the first class to complete four years at the school.


It was designed to serve students from North Redwood City through San Carlos and the overflow from Sequoia and Carlmont high schools. The high school was the fifth high school in the Sequoia Union High School District, and the fourth built within a decade.

Sequoia High School opened in 1895, Menlo Atherton opened in 1951, Carlmont in 1952 and Woodside and Ravenswood in 1958. When San Carlos High opened, enrollment in the high school district reached its all time high of 9,300, 1000 students over the the enrollment of the previous year. Funds for the school were derived from an $8 million bond issue passed by the Sequoia Union High School District voters.

The acreage for the site cost the district $348,000 and the preparation of the land, mainly grading, cost $381,000. Construction of the first phase of the school was $1,754,000 for a total of $2,483,000. The high school was only open for two weeks when construction crews started preliminary work for an additional 19 classrooms to raise the enrollment capacity from 1,000 to 2,000 students.

Prior to opening, the San Carlos Enquirer ran the following story:

Comparatively few San Carlos residents have toured the handsome cluster of buildings, which comprise the new San Carlos High School off Melendy Drive, but those who have are unanimous in their praise of the new facility. Rising in the radical design from the plateau carved from the City's western hills, the new school promises a level of efficiency comparable to the aesthetic attractions of its handsome red block constuction.

The buildings are admirably suited to the needs of a high school by virtue of Delp Johnson's interesting radial designs which has all the wings springing like wheel spokes from a central assembly court which can accommodate as many as 3,500 people at school functions.

The educators who have inspected the campus and those who will serve at San Carlos High are pleased with the clever design by Mr. Johnson, a San Carlan himself, and one of the West's foremost school architects, and they are pleased with the quality of workmanship by Williams & Burrows, Belmont contractors who transformed the plans into a breathtakingly handsome reality.

picpic During the schools first semester, the student body selected the San Carlos Dons as its nickname. The students were able to vote between five nominations accepted by the faculty."The Dons" won by eight votes. The other possible names included the Hurricanes, Comets, Falcons, and Cardinals, and a popular write-in vote was the Hilltoppers, according to newspaper accounts. Nearly 300 of the first students attending the high school were transferred from Carlmont.

The two schools eventually became very competitive rivals in the years to come. Carlmont won ultimate victory when San Carlos High was closed in 1981 due to a lack of students, and the stucture was demolished in 1988.

Thanks to the Class of 1965 for these images: