History of Tavares High School
The first school house in Tavares was built in 1886 by the town founder, Major Alexander St. Clair-Abrams. The two-story wooden building was situated near the present-day corner of New Hampshire Avenue and Ianthe Street. In 1916, the old frame schoolhouse was moved and a three-story brick building constructed in its place. This building housed grades one through 10. The Spanish-style, three-winged building, now known as the main building, was completed in 1926, and housed grades nine and 10. In 1927, grades 11 and 12 were added; THS became a true high school.
The first senior class, all three of them, graduated in 1928. In 1935, the school was divided into Tavares Elementary and Tavares Junior-Senior High. In 1956, two long rows of classrooms were built along Ianthe Street to become the elementary school. A science wing was added in 1962 and an art wing in 1975. In 1974, after the completion of the new Tavares Elementary School, Tavares High and Tavares Middle were separated and the middle school took over the buildings previously housing the elementary school. The Main Building was renovated during the early 1980s at a cost of more than $500,000. When the new Tavares Middle School opened in the early 1990s, Tavares High School occupied the entire campus on New Hampshire Avenue.
During the last few years of the 20th century and the first years of the 21st century, Tavares High School has undergone sweeping changes. A new cafeteria and a new media center were constructed. A new football stadium and track were built. The old classroom buildings along Ianthe Street – formerly Tavares Elementary and Tavares Middle schools – were torn down and replaced by two-story classroom buildings. A new gym was built – the third gymnasium to be built on the THS campus. The main building was renovated once again and now houses the music department, the auditorium (still in its original location), and the guidance and administrative offices.