Turlock High School was organized in September 1906, with twenty-two pupils enrolled. The faculty consisted of Mr. S. R. Douglas and Miss Maud Clark. The first classes were taught in the town hall. During that year, the Student body adopted a constitution, chose blue and gold as school colors, and published the first Alert yearbook. Years later, the students at THS adopted the bulldog as their mascot and symbol. Butch and Brenda Bulldog appear at many athletic events in which our teams compete.
The first high school building opened in September, 1907, was located on the Turlock Covenant Church grounds and was torn down during the summer of 1963. In 1908, the school had its first commencement; Chesley Osborn being the sole graduate. Bonds for a new school were voted in 1917 and after much debate, a site was selected-- bounded by what is now Canal Dr., Berkeley, Marshall, and Colorado.
During the early 1920's, the "old main building," containing the auditorium, classrooms, and offices was constructed. Later, the girls' Gym, bus garage, and Industrial Arts Building was added. After World War II, the Agriculture Building, Library, Boys' Gym, Cafeteria, Swimming Pool, Wood shop, and the classrooms lettered "L" and "B" were built within a decade (1948-58).
In 1972 construction was started on buildings on the east campus to replace all facilities in the "old main building." New rooms (J Building) were also constructed. These were completed and occupied in the fall of 1974. Other additions since that time were the Career Center (1977-78 school year), and the Performing Arts Building occupied in the spring of 1979.
In November 1979, the center wing of the "old main building" was gutted by fire. The roof and windows were later replaced to restore the exterior of the picturesque building. The interior, with the exception of the auditorium, has been restored and serves as district offices and classes for Adult School, The East and West wings of the building are restored and serve as additional classrooms for THS students.
The rapid increase in student enrollment necessitated the placement of 2 dozen portable classrooms located in various secure areas throughout the campus. On November, 9 1989, the THS Football Stadium was renamed the Joe Debely Stadium and dedicated to the late Mr. Joe Debely who served as THS Football, Track and Golf Coach from 1933-1941 and 1946-1953.
In 2006, the newly renovated THS Aquatic Center was renamed in honor of the school's Aquatics Program Head Coach Steve Feaver (1971), who has led the Turlock High's water polo and swimming teams to countless championships.
In 2010, Joe Debely Stadium received a major "face-lift" when the grass was replaced with field turf and an all-weather track was installed. As a result of a community bond numerous THS facilities were approved for modernization including the Ag shop, Girls Gym, and Performing Arts Building.
[Photos courtesy of the Turlock Historical Society and The Turlock Journal]