ST. CLOUD -- With the farewell ceremony for St. Cloud Technical High School being held this week, some have wondered what the high school in St. Cloud looked like before Tech was built.

St. Cloud's Union School was built in 1869 at Fourth Avenue and Third Street.  The entrance was on Fourth Avenue, it was two stories high, with four rooms on each floor and it was large enough to accommodate 400 students.  It sat where the parking lot is now for the current St. Cloud City Hall.

Photo courtesy of the Stearns History Museum

In 1875 they had 261 students, but just four years later there were up to 740 students in the building.

By 1898 the public voted to add identical wings to the Union on the north and south ends.  However, by the 1910s the St. Cloud school district was faced with losing state aid, again due to overcrowding at the Union.

On June 5th, 1914 the voters of St. Cloud voted to build a brand new high school.  After a tough fight, the site of the Technical High School was chosen, although some questioned why they'd want to build a school so far away from town.

Construction of the Technical High School began in the summer of 1916 and remodeling of the Union school started.

In February 1917, the high school classes moved into Tech, and the Union was the new middle school -- some called it Central Grammar School -- and others called it the junior high.

The Union would serve as the district's middle school until the early 1960s when the new South Junior High was built.  The Union was demolished in 1961.