Throwback to New Bingham (1979): A Step Back

Mitch Potter, Staff Writer

Bingham High School’s building is 40 years old this year. While many things were different in 1975-1976, a student government preserved Bingham’s rich history and tradition.

I contacted many of the Student Government leaders and asked them what it was like during that first year with the new building. SBO Vice President of History, Felicia Janeck, 40 years ago they did not have cell phones or social media to keep in touch with each other. According to Janeck they would have an assembly about every month as a way to keep everyone involved with everything going on at Bingham. Also, they would hand out flyers to everyone for events. To “hang out”, she said that most of them did not have cars and whatever they did they walked or rode their bikes.

Also, students would go to each others houses and be social. Any social interaction was done face to face since they really had no other way of communication. Tammy Rindlisbacher, a student who graduated in 1976, says she remembers everyone living so far away from the school that they would have to pay long distance prices to call each other. Because of this, all planning was done at school, then on the weekends they would spend nights at each other’s houses for the whole night. During any school activity, no matter what it was,everyone attended. All the students came to support without question.

I also spoke to Dr. Thomas Owen who was the principal during the 1975-1976 year. One thing that stood out to him about the move was “I just can’t tell you how courteous and kind the students were.” He said the student government did a great job at keeping in touch with the students and despite having a rough switch into the incomplete building, the students still made it pretty easy.

Dr. Owen also made mention to the SBOs running every assembly at the school. He remembers the first assembly of the year was in the cafeteria and the students had to sit on rolls of carpets because they did not yet have lunch chairs or tables. When he attended the 40th anniversary of the building this year he was blown away with how far the school has come and he just wanted to say “Go Bingham!”