#TBT: Ophelia Parrish, the junior high school

It might be difficult to imagine Truman State University buildings as home to anything other than the departments they now house, but throughout the years, many University buildings have evolved to serve different purposes. One such building was featured in a Feb. 27, 1973, issue of The Index.

Ophelia Parrish has long been part of Truman’s campus and is currently home to the School of Arts and Letters, housing the University Art Gallery and the James G. Severns Theatre. But in 1973, Ophelia Parrish wasn’t even planned for University use. Instead, it was on loan to the City of Kirksville for use as local Kirksville Junior High School.

In 1973, The Index reported that although the building had been the location of KJHS for 50 years at the time, the city was considering plans for an alternate school location. The article addressed parents’ concerns that junior high students and college students were intermingling on campus, and it also addressed concerns that the building was no longer able to meet the logistical needs of a population much larger than it was in 1925, when the building first became the location for KJHS.