Renaissance High School for the Arts will undergo a major facelift, including building renovations and removal of all portable buildings beginning in fall 2016. The school serves about 500 students in grades 9 to 12 and is the home of the school district’s Office of Multimedia Services.
Located in downtown Long Beach, Renaissance High sits on the site of the original Long Beach High, opened in 1898 as the first high school in Los Angeles County outside of the City of Los Angeles.
In 1911, after Long Beach Polytechnic High was opened, the campus was converted to a grammar school, which was subsequently destroyed by fire in 1918. The school rebuilt on the site became George Washington Junior High, but it too was destroyed, this time by the 1933 earthquake.
After the quake, the junior high was relocated elsewhere and the rebuilt school was designated Trade Extension Evening High School/John Dewey School, a vocational education facility.
In 1966, the school on the corner of 8th Street and Long Beach Boulevard received another name change. It then became Will J. Reid High School, after the famous oilman and conservationist.
In 2004, the campus became home of the new Renaissance High School for the Arts, designed to provide students with both a challenging visual/performing arts program and a rigorous college preparatory curriculum.
With a budget of $40 million, the Renaissance project will be funded by Measure K school bonds that were overwhelmingly approved by local voters in 2008.