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ABQ High celebrates its $14MIL makeover

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque High School celebrated the grand opening of a new commons area, performance space, cafeteria and administrative offices last week — a $14 million upgrade.

The party drew hundreds of parents, students, alumni and former staff, including four past principals — Richard Romero (1976-1983), George Bello (1983-1993), Don Duran (1996-2001) and Linda Sink (2001-2007).

Tim McCorkle, principal since 2007, said it was a privilege to take the stage with his predecessors.

Former Albuquerque High principals, from left, Don Duran, George Bello, Richard Romero and Linda Sink, clap in time to the school’s fight song during a Tuesday ceremony to celebrate new amenities at the school. (Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal)

“These principals are legends,” McCorkle said. “They paved the way. It’s an honor to carry that forward.”

The new 67,000-square-foot upgrade is one way Albuquerque High is investing in the future, McCorkle said. It will be used for sports and arts programs, including popular theater classes.

Native American students, cheerleaders, jazz musicians and Folklorico dancers entertained in the new performance space last Tuesday.

Pósole, green chile stew, Frito pie, tacos and biscochitos were served to the guests from the new cafeteria.

Bello told the Journal he was thrilled to see the school open the state-of-the-art facilities.

The grand opening of new amenities at Albuquerque High School on Tuesday drew quite a crowd. Native American students, cheerleaders, musicians and dancers entertained the audience. (Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal)

“The kids deserve this,” he said. “There is no place like Albuquerque High. I run into alumni all the time, and they always say they are glad they came here.”

Launched in 1879 as a private academy near Old Town Plaza, Albuquerque High moved to its current location at 800 Odelia Road NE in 1974.

Mary Darling, a 1974 graduate, said “Bulldog City” has always had deep roots but evolves with the times.

Over the past few years, the school has developed a variety of college and career readiness opportunities.

Roughly 500 Albuquerque High students are involved in the dual-language program, which includes two Advanced Placement courses, along with more than a dozen subjects taught in Spanish, from U.S. history to biology and algebra.

The Embassy of Spain named Albuquerque High the national high school of the year in March for its bilingual immersion offerings.

“Excellence is what we strive for every single day here at Albuquerque High,” Superintendent Raquel Reedy said. “Anyone who has walked these halls knows how special it is.”

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