ROCKLAND — The end of an era has come. After this school year, there no longer will be a public high school in the community that bears Rockland’s name. Rockland District High School, the successor to Rockland High School, will cease to exist. A regional high school, Oceanside, will take its place. Since 1868, when Rockland High School first opened its doors on Lincoln Street, the city’s name has been part of the school’s title. For its 143-year history, it occupied only two buildings, the original Rockland High School for 94 years and Rockland District High School for 49 years.
With the opening of the new Rockland District High School on Broadway in the academic year 1962-63, the former high school building became Rockland District Junior High School (later Middle School). Both buildings still stand today and continue to serve the community in educational capacities. The original building, now Lincoln Street Center for the Arts and Education, was renovated several times. Two major additions in the 1920s partially surrounded the original 1868 building. The old portion of the building was converted to an auditorium and gymnasium at that time.
The Rockland High School Class of 1954 is heading an effort to properly memorialize the beloved longtime high school mascot, the Rockland Tiger. In consultation with other former RHS and RDHS students, the alumni have organized a fitting memorial service for the Tiger on Saturday, June 4, at Lincoln Street Center. Those planning to attend are asked to assemble outside the main entrance on Lincoln Street. At 11 a.m., a hearse carrying the Tiger in a specially built coffin will arrive at the Lincoln Street entrance. Pallbearers will take the coffin to the gym. Attendees are asked to follow the procession to the gym, where a brief ceremony will take place.
The event is open to the public, with RHS and RDHS alumni especially invited to attend this historic occasion. If you are interested in being a pallbearer or would like additional information, call Ben Perry at 354-0582 or Gil Merriam at 594-5199.