Ironton High School, located in Ironton, Ohio, is an active school that was partly demolished and rebuilt from 2007 to 2010.
Ironton High School was constructed in 1922. 2 7 The 2½-story brick building featured a two-tiered auditorium, greenhouse, indoor swimming pool, gymnasium, cafeteria and library.
A 3,112-seat football stadium, completed on Thanksgiving Day 1926 at a cost of $33,500, was one of the few stadiums in the state to feature a partial roof. 3 4 While built for the high school, the stadium did double as the home of the Ironton Tanks, a powerhouse in professional football from 1919 to 1931. 3
The Tanks, named for the large number of World War I veterans on the team and for their rugged style of play, beat teams such as the New York Giants and the Chicago Bears. 3 The team posted an 85-19-14 record in 12 seasons. It later merged with the Portsmouth Spartans who later became the Detroit Lions. The stadium also hosted the Ironton St. Joe Flyers, then the smallest football team in the state.
The indoor swimming pool was converted into a small gymnasium in the 1940’s. 7 A new gymnasium was constructed to the west of the existing school building in 1975. 2
The Ironton school board requested funding for renovations of the high school building in July 2001, citing mounting maintenance issues and a building that was not up to modern accessibility standards. 5 The estimated cost of the renovations was $26,782,070 and would have included roof repairs and interior restorations. The state would finance more than $20 million of the project, with the remainder tacked on as a school bond levy. A citywide vote held in 2007 favored a new school building instead of renovations. 11
Planning for a new school began shortly after. The project entailed saving the front entrance, 1 6 8 which included an elaborate marble entryway and brass detailing. 7 A side entrance would also be saved. The circa 1975 gymnasium, Tanks Stadium 2 and various fixtures from the former school, including ornate details from the exterior, would be saved. The former ticket booth to the auditorium was removed for use in the new facility.
Ironton High School was vacated in May 27, 2007 with asbestos abatement beginning in August. 10 Bids were opened for construction on September 25 1 with the low bid going to J&H Reinforcing and Structural Erectors for $1.75 million. 7 Demolition on the old high school began in November 7 8 and work was completed in February 2010. 9