In 1976, Tillamook Catholic High School closed its doors.
And 43 years later the building was torn down.
Sacred Heart Parish of Tillamook began building between Nestucca and Miller Avenues starting in 1897. The present Parish Hall was constructed ten years later in 1924, and by 1950 the high school had its own building on the corner of Nestucca and Fifth.
However, after diminishing enrollment, the decision was made to close the school. The last graduating class was in 1976.
President of the Tillamook Catholic High School at the time, Dr. James Daskalos, released the statement that year:
“Following fifty years of existence and service, it is with great sadness and regret that the School Board of Sacred Heart Parish announces the suspension of the upper four years of its educational system. On May 10, the Sacred Heart Parish Council rejected a deficit-spending budget, forcing the revamping of the educational structure of the Parish. Suspension of Tillamook Catholic High School ends an era in parochial school education in the state of Oregon, as this was the last single-parish supported high school in our state. Those involved in the support of this system can be proud of the heritage now established.”
After the closure of the high school, Tillamook Counseling, Tillamook Creamery, and Hendrickson Academy were some of the tenants that occupied the building.
However, the deterioration and infrastructure of the building had become too much in recent years.
“It had gotten to a state where it wasn’t affordable to maintain the building,” said Sacred Heart Business Manager Judy Gollon.
Therefore, Sacred Heart decided that it was best that the old high school building be demolished. The building was torn down earlier this summer.
With the sale of Sacred Heart’s undeveloped land on Nestuca Avenue, and now the demolition of the old high school, the church is able to focus funds on saving the grade school building. Renovations thus far have included the creation of additional classrooms and a chapel.
The site of the old high school will be converted into a parking lot for the new parish hall.
“We are currently working with architects to build new or retrofit the gym into a parish center,” Gollon said. “The parish hall will be torn down.”