New LHS building lacks sense of history, pride


Photo by Ava Mohr.

Previous LHS building stands empty in October 2022.

Since the new LHS campus opened in August 2020, most agree that its buildings surpass the previous campus in almost every way. However, the current million-dollar school, with state-of-the-art resources and cutting-edge technology, somehow still lacks the history, comfort and pride of the other building.

Without these elements, that homey feeling from the old building does not carry over into the new school. Many current students who have visited the old school for Christmas and band concerts have expressed that the old building feels more like a home than the new building. In contrast, the current building feels less welcoming with its dull-gray-and-dark-purple color scheme.

Not only does the new building lack comfort, it also lacks the history that the old building contains: all the trophies, class gifts and yearbooks. All of these things make LHS what it is today. When walking into the new building, a student would have no idea that the school published newspapers back in 1927 or that LHS used to often place with them at state and national competitions. Instead, the students will see the school’s bare trophy case and miss the opportunity to grasp the rich history of LHS.

When students lack a connection to the school’s history, they begin to lack pride in the school. Students who can not see LHS’ accomplishments will not know what to feel pride in because they might think the school has done nothing to deserve recognition.

Although some argue that the new campus contains resources the other school lacked, in many ways, the previous school might have provided students with a better learning environment. According to, “Students learning in poor environments – those that are uncomfortable, loud, or full of distractions – will find it far more difficult to absorb information and stay engaged.” It’s possible that the “homey feeling” of the other building brought students more comfort than any resources the newer building contains, and, with this comfort, higher learning abilities.

A drastic solution to make LHS feel more like the previous school involves moving back to the other school and selling the current buildings. But this would be difficult and pointless. Instead, leaders could create a more comfortable environment and incorporate some of the previous school’s history in the new building.

For example, bringing the previous school’s trophies to the new high school would allow people to see how much this school has accomplished over the years. Bringing in more decorations from the old high school will allow things made by previous Bengals to brighten up the hallways.

Our local historian, Steven Branting, is developing a Lewiston Schools archive room at the old LHS building. In that room lie trophies, yearbooks and awards that, if incorporated into the new high school, could encourage students to feel more school pride.

The older school provided students with a sense of history, comfort and pride that the current school does not. Although the newer school provides better resources, simple solutions can bring some of these elements to the current school. The question then arises: What benefits students more, a depersonalized new building or a comfortable environment full of history and local pride?