Administration Building

Administration Building

Cornerstone in the front office
Cornerstone from the original 1915 school, now part of the front office

The administration building, or front office, was completed in 1986.  This replaced the building that used to sit near the present-day art building and cafeteria.  During its construction, the cornerstone of the original 1915 Auburndale school (destroyed in the tornado of May 1979) was placed in the wall near its front doors.  This building houses principals, deans, guidance counselors, secretaries, and conference rooms.  The south hallway in the building was originally wider, but this area was closed in to make another office in the 1990s.  A covered awning was added to the front of the building in 2012.

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North Campus

The opening of AJHS in 1973: Principal Cliff Smiley, Polk County Superintendent Homer Addair, Architect Jack Turner

The “North Campus” building was finished in the spring of 1973 and opened in the fall of that year as Auburndale Junior High School.  It was built to house 1000 students in grades 8 and 9, as the old Junior High School nearby was over capacity.  It would continue as a separate school until it was absorbed by the AHS campus in 1989, bringing freshmen into AHS.  The original building as it was laid out contained a courtyard in the center behind the media center, an auditorium with second story in the back, cafeteria with kitchen, industrial arts and home economics aras, science labs, and PE locker rooms.  Prior to it becoming part of AHS, the closet for the first science lab (N1) was torn out to create an extension for a new Industrial Arts suite in 1985.



Note the red/orange trim around the building and the AJHS bus loop in the present location of the AHS auditorium
Overhead shot of AJHS, 1988 (click to enlarge)

The building is named the C.L. Smiley building for Cliff Smiley, longtime principal of AJHS.  The Auburndale Star did a writeup on the new building on May 30, 1973: “The new building is modern in every detail.  It is completely air conditioned, is carpeted throughout and has indirect lighting.  The public address system is throughout the facility and the acoustics are reported to be excellent…. The very latest facilities for teaching are incorporated including a teaching auditorium with a stage equipped with rolling panels.  It will seat 404 students but the walls can be rolled away to accommodate many more if the need arises….The library is large and also very modern.  The building will have four complete science labs.  It also has an excellent band facility.  Administration offices are spacious and well appointed.  Lockers have already been installed in the hallways for the convenience of the students.”  It was a model attempt by a school in Polk County to house an entire campus within one building.

Front of AJHS
Original front of the AJHS building, 1981

In 1998, the culinary arts area was revamped.  The cafeteria was removed and converted into classes, but its kitchen remained for AHS’ culinary arts program.  This was followed by the old locker rooms (replaced with classrooms N46-N52) and courtyard area (replaced with computer labs N16-N18) in 2004.  The auditorium and band room were next to go, being replaced with more rooms (N58-N62) in 2007.  When the building became part of the high school, its front office served as the attendance office for AHS.  In 2010, its office and media center were torn out, replaced with a new, state-of-the-art media center, college and career center, and computer labs.  The Lil’ Hounds classroom was renovated during that year as well, with a fenced-in play area added behind the building.  The front of the building, formerly home to a few sets of doors and lots of brick, was replaced with a wall of windows to the media center during the construction.



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Tracy McGrady Gymnasium

Original Auburndale "A" at center court, 1970
The original center court Auburndale “A”

The Auburndale High School gymnasium was named for the former Bloodhound basketball standout and NBA Hall of Famer, Tracy McGrady, in January 2004.  Built in 1966, it allowed for indoor sports to be played on campus, as prior to that the high school had to use the gym of the nearby junior high school.  It originally had an open front with a drive through underpass attached.  In 2010, the classrooms in the front area of the gym were shuttered to create a large lobby, concession stand, and trophy display area.

Aside from paint color, the interior of the gym itself has changed very little in fifty years.  It is inside these four walls where students have been pointing to Lake Ariana as they sing the alma mater, proudly displayed on the east wall since the early 1970s.  The year 1987 saw work on the back northeast corner of the gym, with a 5300 square foot addition placed housing a wrestling room, weightroom, offices, and storage.

Original Ag building during its construction, 1966

Situated between the Ag building and the gym is a PE locker room suite, which was built out around the foundation of the original Ag building (built in 1966) in 2001.  The original brickwork can be seen on interior walls inside the locker rooms.

The Dunson-Winsett PE Building was completed in 2003, named for former AHS PE teachers Mary Dunson (40 years teaching) and Betty Lou Winsett (33 years teaching).  It includes girls’ locker rooms and a dance classroom.

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Bruce Canova Stadium

AHS fight song, published in 1956 yearbook
The AHS fight song, published in the 1956 yearbook
Opening night at AHS' new stadium, 1962
Opening night at Auburndale Stadium; fall 1962

Bruce Canova Stadium, formerly known as the Auburndale Citrus Bowl, opened for the fall 1962 football season.  Prior to this Connie Mack Field on Highway 92 was used.  The Student Council scrapbook for 1977 featured an article discussing proposed changes to the stadium which would have included another set of permanent seating on the visitors’ side, including restrooms.  This never came to pass.  The stadium was named for Bruce Canova, a former Auburndale city manager, in November 1982.  The stadium has seen relatively little work in its 50+ years of existence, with the addition of a freestanding concession stand in 2010.  The playing field was renamed for former longtime head football coach Joe Parrish on May 17, 2019.








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