This chapter will follow the chapter on the jr/sr high, and subsequent middle school:
The United States saw a blossoming of suburban life after World War II. The Town of Bethlehem was no exception. By the late 1940s it was necessary for the use of double sessions at the junior/senior high school. The community realized a new high school was needed and in 1951 they voted and approved plans and funding for a new school building.
An introduction in the 1955 Oriole Yearbook sums up the excitement for the new senior high school. “…We will find a building functional in every detail. We will see a structure that is beautiful in its own modern way. We will discover gigantic windows, green blackboards, modern furniture, designed as is every part of the building, for comfort, health, utility, and pleasure. We will examine a building that was planned to accommodate the needs and wishes of the students. Because of this, the building may be said to be an inanimate manifestation of the students.” The tenor of this statement embodies Hamilton Bookhout’s deep care for his students.
It must have been beyond exciting to behold a sprawling new school complete with a swimming pool. The only school with a pool prior to BCHS was the Albany Academy. Just as the building on Kenwood Avenue allowed for increased opportunities for students, so did the new building on Delaware Avenue. There were larger and more complete recreational facilities, science labs, and library space.
This was the period of the Cold War and the United States was doing its best to keep in stride with the accomplishments of the Soviet Union. To expand educational opportunities for students, teachers were offered prospects to enrich their professional skills. Grants, fellowships, and exchange teaching were made available and many teachers availed themselves of these opportunities. A school district with an already exemplary reputation became an even better institution of learning.