History of Original Harvey High School at 167 West Washington Street
The building of the first high school in Painesville had originally housed a private school, the Painesville Academy. In 1852, the Academy’s trustees deeded the school building and grounds to the school board. This old grammar/high school was torn down in 1860 in order to build a new two-story brick building. Later known as the "Old Academy Building", it served as a grammar and high school until 1898 when Painesville High school was built. It continued to be used as an elementary school until the early 1920’s when it was razed to permit the construction of Harvey High School at the same site.
Harvey High School was named after Thomas W. Harvey, former district superintendent who gained statewide recognition as an educator and was dedicated in November of 1922.
The building included classrooms, laboratories, a cafeteria, offices for the superintendent and principal, a gymnasium seating six hundred, and a combined auditorium/study hall. In 1924 a student government association was started on a small scale by permitting selected student to have honor study halls. It was after this experiment proved successful that all students were given the privilege of studying in an honor study hall. In 1952, a new wing was added to the east side of the building after the old Champion Junior High was razed. This wing included new classrooms, a cafeteria, a library, and an gymnasium. In 1965, the seating capacity of the cafeteria dining area was doubled by the construction of a $35,000 addition to the building. At the same time, the serving area in the kitchen was remodeled. Provision was made in the new addition for access to the library so that the added seating capacity could be used for study purposes.
In 1968, and extensive remodeling program of the original building was initiated. Rooms were redecorated and a new $65,000 locker/shower room facility was added for the girls. A two-phase construction program which started in 1970 was completed in September, 1972. The third-story addition on the east end of the building added additional classroom space and enlarged and improved the home economics and business education facilities.
Additional construction on the southeast side of the building increased space for the cafeteria and boys’ locker room. The next phase of construction was completed in 1976 and included a new suite of guidance offices, a new vocational wing, a new gym floor in the west gymnasium. This new vocational addition, located on the west end of the building, was named the John J. Britt Vocational Wing in honor of the former principal of Harvey and assistant superintendent of Painesville City Local Schools. This area housed the vocational auto mechanics, vocational electronics, industrial arts, metal shop, drafting, and photography rooms. The original buildings was demolished in the spring of 2010 after the opening of the new high school at 200 West Walnut Ave.