Dodge City High School's beginnings can be traced back to 1873. The oldest building which is still standing that was used by the High School "only" dates back to 1914.
That year Dodge City Schools built the southern section of the "new" high school on at 1000 N. 2nd Avenue. Two years later the school district completed the northern section. Since that time, this building has seen a number of uses.
Upon erection of a newer high school on Comanche (now Comanche Middle School) in 1924, Dodge City Junior High moved into the building vacated by the high school.
In 1956 Dodge City Middle School was constructed and Dodge City Community College moved into junior high school in 1957. With the construction of the current DCCC campus, the junior college moved out in 1970.
Meanwhile in September 1966, the Cultural Heritage and Fine Arts Center was formed under a federal ESEA Title III planning grant. The center hired Jane Robison, principal of Northwest Elementary School and set up an office in the teachers' lounge at Northwest Elementary School.
A turbulent year for the center came in 1967. They moved out of Northwest Elementary into offices across the street from Boot Hill Museum.
But were forced out in June when the building next door was destroyed by fire; some material from the center received smoke and water damage.
For a short time, the center moved back to Northwest before relocating to 309 W. Wyatt Earp Blvd. in late August.
The stay on Wyatt Earp was short due to urban renewal.
In mid-November the center moved into the cramped basement of the Lora-Locke Hotel where they stayed for almost three years.
In October 1970, the Center and USD 443 moved into the old high/junior high school on 2nd Avenue after DCCC vacated the premises.
Additional federal money was received to fund the center, but that grant expired at the end of the 1970-71 school year.
The Cultural Heritage and Fine Center changed its name to the Kansas Heritage Center one year later.
Until recently, funding came from Unified School District 443, the state of Kansas, and sales generated by the Center.
Currently, USD 443 is constructing new administrative offices at the Dodge City Civic Center.
Upon completion, they will leave the building on Second Avenue. The Heritage Center, which is no longer funded by USD 443, is currently moving across the street into the ground floor of the Dodge City Public Library.
What the future holds for Dodge City's oldest school structure is unclear.
This 1914-16 structure commands quite a presence on North 2nd Avenue. And hidden under this edifice in sub-basement remains the gymnasium. But, in an effort to conserve energy and lower utility bills, the district has shrunken the once large windows on the upper floors to much smaller windows.