Prelude to the Fire
1967 - 1968
With an increasing number of students, New Rochelle High School established a split session schedule in the fall of 1965 which remained in effect during the 1967-1968 school year.
Juniors and seniors attended in the morning, sophomores in the afternoon. Freshmen, ninth graders, attended either Isaac E. Young Junior High School or Albert Leonard Junior High School.
On March 15, 1966, a referendum was passed by the community to fund the building of a new library, swimming pool, planetarium, and vocational building. Construction was underway in front of the school during 1967-68.
The blaze of May 17, 1968 was not the first fire in the school that month. There were others, obviously suspicious, in the preceding week.
On Friday, May 10, school personnel including custodians extinguished a fire in a printing room on the second floor.
Another occurred on the following Thursday, May 16, at approximately 9:45 am. Personnel again attended to the fire as students evacuated the building and fire trucks arrived on the campus. As a precaution following these two incidents, custodians were placed on special alert beginning that morning.
Students and staff were aware that the fire alarms that sounded that week had been for actual fires, not fire drills.
The Fire >>