Center Middle School is located at 13200 Pearl Road in Strongsville, Ohio. Over the years, the title of the building changed with the building"s additions and the population of Strongsville. A resident of Strongsville may have attended this building as an elementary student, as a junior high school student, as a high school student or as a middle school student.
Center Middle School was built in 1921 as Strongsville High School. Grades seven through twelve attended classes in the building. It consisted of only six classrooms on one floor and a gymnasium, today called the small gym. The entrance to the new building was directly behind the present Board of Education building. A stage was located at the west end of the gym floor. Graduation took place in the gym with the graduates seated on the stage. In 1923 there were nine seniors.
During the 1920"s Strongsville Public School consisted of two buildings located on Pearl Road. The high school, now Center, and one elementary building, now the Board of Education building. Due to the overcrowding of the elementary school, some elementary students had classes in the high school building. The basement of the elementary building served as the cafeteria and study hall for the high school students. The old cafeteria is used today for the studio of SCS-TV, "TV from a Student"s Point of View" in the Board of Education building.
In 1938 more construction happened to the building. A second floor was built over the initial six classrooms and a narrow stairway was added to the building to gain access to the upper floor. A favorite student activity was to jump out of the classroom window, in room 214, onto the coal pile and climb up these narrow stairs.
In the 1950"s Center was under construction again. The cafeteria and the large gym were built. Strongsville"s basketball opponents referred to this gym as the "barn." Additional classrooms and office space were added to the first and second floor of the building. The wood shop was moved from the basement of the present Board of Education to the new west wing.
With the growing population of Strongsville, the school district saw the need to construct the first separate elementary school. It was built to the north of Center. The Annex was built in 1955 as Drake Elementary School. Students in grades kindergarten through six were in the new Drake Elementary building.
In October of 1962, Strongsville High School was presented with a 2,000 seat stadium. The Strongsville Jaycees financed and built the structure as their first community venture. The Board of Education unanimoulsy voted to name the athletic field and stadium after Dr. Martin Taliak, a noted physician and long time Strongsville resident who passed away in August 1962.
In September of 1964, the new senior high school on Lunn Road opened for students in grades ten through twelve. The 1921 building with its additions became known as Strongsville Junior High School with grades seven through nine.
In January of 1970, Albion Junior High School opened and Strongsville Junior High School was renamed Center Junior High School. From September until January both junior high schools operated out of this single building. Two students were assigned to each locker.
With the construction of the new Drake Elementary School on Albion Road in 1975, Center Junior High School gained additional classroom space in the old elementary school, now called the Annex. At this time, a covered walkway was constructed between the main building of Center Junior High and the Annex. This provided students protection from the elements as they traveled between buildings.
In 1978, the music room and additional classrooms located on the lower west wing of the building were constructed. In that same year, the brick wall was built along the covered walkway between the Main building and the Annex to provide extra protection from the elements.
In 1998, the ninth graders were moved to the high school. Center Junior High School was renamed Center Middle School. Students in grades seven and eight attend this school.