The History of South MS
The building we celebrate today as Pennridge South Middle School has seen many changes in the 89 years it has served the community.
In 1926, the Perkasie and Sellersville Boards of Education consolidated to provide better educational opportunities for the youth of their communities. They planned to build a joint high school on a site on the boundary line between Perkasie and Sellersville. They chose architect E. William Martin of Wilmington, Delaware. The new Sellersville-Perkasie Consolidated High School accommodated three-hundred students in grades nine, ten, eleven and twelve, and it included a gymnasium and an auditorium in addition to its classrooms. The building was dedicated on February 11, 1931.
In 1954, Sell-Perk High School became Pennridge Junior High School upon the opening of the brand new Pennridge High School in East Rockhill. The junior high school housed seventh, eighth, and ninth grades from all of the newly formed Pennridge School District communities which included the the townships of West Rockhill, East Rockhill, Bedminster & Hilltown, and the boroughs of Perkasie, Sellersville, Silverdale, and Dublin. They needed a new wing to meet the district's growing needs. The firm of Micklewright and Mountford constructed 15 new classrooms, a second gymnasium, and a cafeteria in 1957.
Another change occurred in 1965 with the opening of Pennridge Central Junior High School in East Rockhill. The building became officially known as Pennridge South Junior High School, and its students came from West Rockhill, Sellersville, and parts of Perkasie, Hilltown, and East Rockhill. Ten years later, a growing Pennridge School District opened yet another new high school facility which caused change for Pennridge South. From 1975 to the present, the building has housed only seventh and eighth grades.
The Pennridge area and school curriculum kept on growing, and so did our building. In 1990, after much debate, the Pennridge School Board voted to renovate and expand the existing Pennridge South Junior High School to meet the needs of Pennridge students into the twenty-first century. The firm of Diseroad and Wolff of Hatfield, Pennsylvania was chosen to design the new wing which included a new gymnasium, locker rooms, a science pod, a music suite, and eight new classrooms. Extensive renovation was also planned for the 1950's wing and the original 1930's building including conversion of the old gymnasium into a new library. Construction began in the summer of 1991 and was completed in early 1993, months ahead of schedule.
This fine building has seen good times come and go, but it remains a landmark in the Pennridge community. It has seen three generations of Pennridge students pass through its doors and will undoubtedly see many more. The building we celebrate today - Sell-Perk High School, Pennridge Junior High, South Junior High School, South Middle School, or whatever name tomorrow might bring - will continue serving its students and community as it has for more than 70 years.
By Mrs. J. Brittain
STEM Teacher, South Middle School