Throwback to New Bingham (1976): Structure and Additions

Konnor Woodburn and Autumn Thatcher

The walls of Bingham High School have been around to see it all. They have witnessed the wins and the losses, the drama, and the countless different faces throughout the years.  Without the structure that Bingham High School has our amazing experiences here may not exist.

When Bingham High School moved first from its location in Copperton, Utah in 1976, it was nothing like many of us know today. The new building cost around $11,000,000 to accommodate the 1,246 original students at Bingham High. The original design was built as an open floor plan and it had no walls separating classrooms. According to EducationNext, open floor plans in public schools originated in Britain during the 1960s. The idea of open floor plans that went along with informal education slowly became popular in the United States. By the 1970s around the time the new Bingham building was built the informal education system was in full swing.

We can thank this open floor plan for the many random poles that are found throughout Bingham. In 1976, when the open floor plan was created so were the poles. Without walls that each individual classroom would provide their was no way to hold up the ceiling. “For weight bearing support because of the way they designed it originally without walls, they had to have ways of supporting it,” said Ms. Bridge, teacher at Bingham for ten years.

 

Renovations throughout the school continued as the years went on. In 2002, ten years after the permanent walls were placed in the building, the school gymnasium was redone and attached to the building. Classrooms were built and the cafeteria size was increased during this process as well.

 

Our school library wasn’t always the same as it is now. Before 2007 it was much larger, stretching from the lunchroom all the way out to the stairs by the main hall, but that year the administration remodeled and made the library smaller. The library wasn’t functional from when school started that year until November. Students weren’t even allowed to be in there during the remodel. Ms. Albrecht, our school librarian, was here during construction. She described many changes from the library then to how it is now. The lights in the library had what she referred to as a “blue haze”, and those were replaced. Eight classrooms and a hallway were built after they moved the library wall and the bookcases to where they are now. They also had the display cases and bookshelves moved to where they currently are. Albrecht said, “… it [the library] used to open right out into the main hall.”  Regarding the closing in of the library walls, Albrecht said, “I think it makes it more manageable… it was so open people could walk in and out. It would have been very hard to manage it.”

Ms. Albrecht was also responsible for getting the computers that we have in the library now. They started out with 20 old computers, and knowing that they wouldn’t be enough for our students, she wrote and was awarded a grant in 2008 that got us our computers. Another change that was implemented at the same time was the desks that the librarians sit at. They weren’t there until that point. Albrecht said, “I prefer to be out … with the students… I had them build my desk out here.” Our library has gone through some major changes, and it remains a useful and excellent space for Bingham students to work and spend time together.

Bingham has gone through many different changes throughout the years since it was first built here. Some changes were good, some had little effect, but they all have contributed to the Bingham that we know and love. Many different people contributed to how the school is today, and all of those influences have had a huge affect on the building, and by extension, us.