The Mt. Sterling City School system had its beginning on the first Saturday in June 1884 with the election of James H. Bean, W.H. Smith, Owen Laughlin, H.R. French, and H.L. Stone as the Board of Trustees. (2) Their first meeting was on July 25, 1884, at the “storehouse” of Smith. They had neither buildings nor grounds, however, the first school term began on September 8, 1884, at the home of Mrs. Nannie K. Hibler, principal of the school, for six-month terms.
The first public school building came about a few years later. The property was purchased along Maysville Street and the first building was completed in 1889, standing at three-stories.(1) The first commencement from the new school was in June 1891.
In 1912, the school was expanded with a new three-story structure to the immediate south, connected by a pedestrian walkway.(1) The building became the home of the high school, while the late-19th century building became the junior high school. Elementary and middle school students were relocated to the Mapleton School, formerly known as the Mt. Sterling Collegiate Institute on Holt Street.
Ten years later, the Wyatt property on Harrison Avenue was purchased and a new addition to the high school was constructed.(1) It included a second-floor auditorium, classroom space, and a gymnasium. Soon after, in 1931, a two-story classroom building was constructed along Harrison Avenue.
In 1938, the original public school building dating back to 1889 was demolished and a new high school and gymnasium complex was constructed, using the footprint of the old school and wrapping around the front of the earlier 1912 and 1922 expansion.(1)
The first building cost $15,000 and the last building cost $150,000.(1)