looking Back

aerial view with ruhs in the lower left corner.

Redondo Union HigH ScHool
oldeSt HigH ScHool in tHe SoUtH Bay
34   SouthBayDigS.com  |  8.24.2012   

ruhs, 20th century featuring the colonnade entrance.

WRittEN By DENiSE KaNo
What  started  as  a  one-room  school  building  in  1889  eventually  grew  to  the  second  largest  high  school  campus  in  the  State  of  california  (by  area),  with  an  overall size of 56 acres. the  now-named  Redondo  union  high  School  was  organized  officially  in  the  summer of 1905. the first classes were held in two upstairs rooms of the masonic  Building in Redondo Beach, and in December of that same year, a site known as  old chautauqua Place was selected as the location for the school.  in  1906  there  were  only  two  senior  students,  but  in  1927  there  were  46  times  that  amount.  the  area  was  growing  rapidly,  and  with  the  completion  of  the  boys  gymnasium  in  1931,  the  school  realized  some  of  the  many  future 
images courtesy of the city of redondo beach historical museum.

period there was a uniform board with one person in attendance in each room.  if you were out of uniform without permission, you were given a citation. if you  received so many citations, you had to go before the judge.” it was Fran’s idea to move from these somewhat drab uniforms to the red and  white colors, which have stayed to the present day. Redondo also had students  from all around the South Bay, as it was the only high school in the area.  “We were the only high school, so we had people from manhattan, hermosa,  Palos  Verdes  and  Rolling  hills,  as  well  as  North  and  South  Redondo  attending  Redondo,” she said. “i believe we had approximately 2,000 students at the time  — the graduating classes were large.” throughout the early years and into the 1950s, graduate classes have tended  to stay close and plan frequent reunions, more frequent than the typical 10-year  reunions other schools put on.  “our  class  has  been  really  close,”  said  Koehr.  “i’ve  chaired  all  the  reunions  since the 10th – and we have reunions every 5 years. We had close to 200 people  up until the 55th reunion. Now there are yearly reunions which held around the  country with a host and hostess.” throughout  the  years,  RuhS  has  held  onto  some  old  traditions  and  created  new ones. one thing that has remained the same is the loyalty and fondness that  Sea hawks have for their high school.

development plans. talk to RuhS graduates from any decade, and their memories will of course  be all unique to them. however, most graduates will generally agree that Redondo  was a great school to attend in the South bay. one  such  graduate,  Fran  Koerh  (nee  coleman),  graduated  in  1952,  and  although she recalled a definite dress code, she had fond memories. “We wore uniforms in the 1950s, which had probably started in the 1930s or  1940s,”  said  Koerh.  “Four  days  a  week  we  wore  a  black  or  brown  skirt,  and  any  color of sweater as long as you wore a white blouse underneath. Fridays we could  wear  anything  we  wanted.  We  had  a  girls  court  and  a  Judge,  and  every  first 

Sea Hawks Stats:
1905 - high school opens with one teacher and 10 pupils  1912 – high school accredited 1929 – alma mater is written by charlotte E. cheney, ‘26 1952 – campus is expanded with the addition of many new classroom buildings 1972 – New auditorium is completed 1980 – 75th anniversary celebration at Seaside Lagoon 1988 – Named a california Distinguished School 1997 – RuhS alumni Walk is constructed and dedicated 2007  - RuhS one hundredth class graduates 

 8.24.2012  |  SouthBayDigS.com  35

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