Saranac Lake High School Saranac Lake High School Campus with McKenzie Mountain in the background Address: 79 Canaras Avenue

Old Address: Canaras Avenue

Other names:

Year built: 1969-70, addition in 1999

Other information: The graduating class of 1970 was the first senior class to occupy the new high school. Classes began here on December 1, 1969 just after Thanksgiving.  The high school students started the year at the Petrova school as the new school was not fully ready for classes.  The class of 1970 had their graduation ceremony in the gymnasium of the new high school.

The Saranac Lake Central School District was formed on July 1, 1964, and a study was undertaken to determine what school buildings were needed. One of the major results was the new four million dollar Saranac Lake High School at the end of Olive Street and Canaras Avenue, designed for 620 students. The Petrova school continued to serve grades one through eight.

The original Saranac Lake High School was founded in 1890; it was dedicated by U.S. President Benjamin Harrison. 1 In 1925, a new school was built on Petrova Avenue at a cost of $650,000, that housed kindergarten through grade twelve. 2

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, January 12, 1966

Casier Site Chosen for S.L. High School

Option Also Signed for Land For K-4 Bloomingdale School

Three-year options were signed last night by the School Board of the Saranac Lake Central School for three pieces of property on which it is proposed to build new facilities.

The major option was for the 80 acres of property owned by Frank Casier, bounded by the George Lapan Highway, Ampersand Avenue, Edgewood Road and Hope Street.

Another option was signed for a small piece of property adjoining the Casier land at the corner of Edgewood Rd. and the LaPan Highway. This small piece is owned by Arthur C. Garwood and is currently used for a small sawmill.

The third piece, belonging to Thomas C. Norman, covers about 20 acres and is located in Bloomingdale just above the present school on Johnson Road.

Mr. Casier was paid $1,000 for the option on his land, which would cost $50,000 and would be used for the construction of a new high school.

Mr. Garwood received $500 for the option to purchase his land for $6,000, and this piece would complete the property used for the high school.

Mr. Norman's option was also $500 with the land to he purchased for $7,500 to be used for the construction of an elementary school, from kindergarten through the Fourth Grade, for pupils from Bloomingdale, Vermontville, Gabriels, Paul Smith's and Onchiota.

The decision on the Casier property came after some two years of discussion, beginning with the approval of school centralization in March of 1964.

The actual purchases cannot be made until the approval of a bond issue by the taxpayers of the central school district in a referendum, and the Board of Education expects to have an announcement on this matter within the next few days.

In the long and sometimes vigorous discussion on the site for the new high school, two other properties were given serious consideration by the Board, by the architects and engineer, and by 14-man Advisory Site Committee whose chairman was Mr. William Meyer.

The other sites were the Harris property, consisting of about 27 acres south of Lake Street at the southwesterly edge of the village, and the Green Valley Site, a property owned by Mr. Norman, consisting of 30 acres along the Bloomingdale Road about five miles northwest of the village.

The Casier site was unanimously approved by the school board and strongly recommended in a formal report, called "Site Report No. 3" prepared by the Clark, Clark, Millis and Gilson, architects of Syracuse, and Duryea and Wilhelmi, site planners, also of Syracuse.

In addition, the Advisory Site Committee endorsed the Casier property by a vote of 11 to 2, with one abstaining. The affirmative votes were those of Chairman Meyer, Gray Twombley, Mrs. Major Day, Philmore Hyde, Bentley Darling, Joseph Stephen, Howard Benham, James Ryan, Paul Kennedy, John Backels, and Robert Kampf.

The two negative votes were Snair Cohen and John Hewitt, and Louis Fobare abstained.

The full text of the summary of the findings of the architects' and engineers' study follows:

"The aggregate of site advantages favors the Casier site. This site imposes no design and development limitations affecting the potential quality and usefulness of the contemplated educational plant. It also offers an opportunity to develop an extremely attractive and well-integrated facility, which will enhance the daily routine of learning as well as the total village scene.

Because of the combination of size, accessibility, location, and natural attractions, this site can provide more recreational and public benefits than would be available on either of the other sites. A valuable reserve of land for future development would be an added advantage." […]

New Saranac Lake High School Dedication program, November 22, 1970 New Saranac Lake High School Dedication program, p. 2 New Saranac Lake High School Dedication program, p. 3 New Saranac Lake High School Dedication program, p. 4

Famous graduates

  • Local architect William G. Distin, who designed a number of Adirondack Great Camps and the St. John's in the Wilderness Episcopal Church.
  • New York State's 4th Judicial District (Franklin County) Judge Cornelius J. Carey was a graduate of Saranac Lake High School, and a 1930 graduate of Notre Dame. At 29, he was the youngest judge in New York.
  • Ed Lamy was an international speed skating champion. From 1908 to 1910 he was the Senior National North American and U.S. Long Track Champion. He also held records for the broad jump on ice. He was elected to the Speed Skating Hall of Fame on May 20, 1961 at Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • [" Bill Demong] won a complete set of medals at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships with a gold (10 km individual large hill: 2009), a silver (15 km individual: 2007), and a bronze (10 km individual normal hill: 2009). In the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Demong won the gold medal in Individual Large Hill/10km and the Silver Team Large Hill/4x5 km

See also

External links

* Howard Riley, "SLHS Class of 1924" ''Adirondack Daily Enterprise''



1. Dora, Donna and Mildred Keough, eds., A Past To Remember, A Future to Mold, Saranac Lake: The Chamber. 2001
2. Duquette, Ruth, "Saranac Lake Schools", unpublished manuscript D946, Adirondack Research Room, Saranac Lake Free Library