ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Washington Middle School turned 100 years old and invited the community to participate in commemorating the milestone. Generations of Washington Middle School alumni came together to honor the rich history of the school. 

They say the school has become a staple in the community. “Celebrating the milestone of 100 years brings back that richness, brings back people. I have people walking through the hall saying “wow, we used to play chess here, I won a chess championship there. I remember when we painted that,” says Modesta Hernandez, Washington Middle School principal. 

Yesterday, Mar. 14, Washington Middle School celebrated its centennial birthday. The school was founded in 1923 to accommodate Albuquerque’s growing population in the downtown area.

Superintendent John Milne made the original proposal for the school which could serve 600 students in grades seven through nine. Now the school has hit a historic milestone. 

“It’s actually amazing to think that you’re actually the principal at a school that has been open now for a hundred years. The legacy that that has provided us and guides you is just amazing, it’s an amazing feeling,” says Hernandez. 

Throughout the years, Washington Middle School has been rebuilt and even moved. The original three-story building is long gone. 

Robert Sanchez was a student at Washington Middle School in the 1960s and later returned as a teacher. “I came to school as a student in the old building and I taught in the old building. And when we transferred from the old building to the new building, I was here until, like I said, 2014,” says Robert Sanchez, former Washington Middle School student and teacher. 

Now Sanchez’s son is also a teacher at Washington Middle School. People say it’s the community that makes the school so special and keeps its legacy alive. “I think it’s amazing; I think it’s amazing that we reached 100 years and I hope that we reach another 100,” says Hernandez. 

APS says the original school had to be rebuilt due to cracks in the foundation. They said it was cheaper to build a new school than to renovate the old one.   

While Washington Middle School is older, Albuquerque Publis Schools says Eugene Field Elementary, just south of Edith and Coal, has some of the oldest buildings still in use. The main school building there has been around since 1927.