Student’s book about Potsdam school’s history sells out

Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 2:54 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

POTSDAM, New York (WWNY) - A senior at Potsdam High School has published a book that shows the evolution of the school from the 1920s to the 2020s.

Lucas Clemons’ 81-page book has pictures from old yearbooks that show how the school has expanded and what has changed over the years.

What started as his capstone project became a six-month research excursion of hidden history. Clemons found a little-known fact about the current library.

“It used to be the gym. So they used to have bleachers here on top that would be overlooking the basketball court,” he said.

The book was so successful among students and faculty that 51 hardcover copies sold out. Now, Clemons will put it online for free.

The book also teaches how the school’s basement was designated a fallout shelter in the 1950s during the Cold War.

Potsdam High Principal Kristin Towne says the book taught her a few things.

“I didn’t know about the fire. I think that was in 1978. I had no idea there was a fire in an old part of the building, so that was one thing. I didn’t know that the entrance to the school itself used to be in the corner of the library, so those are two things that I learned from Lucas after looking at his book,” she said.

Clemons says the book shows that a lot has changed in the past 100 years at Potsdam High.

“One of the bigger things is the number of students and how the different learning processes go. Back in 1926, around the time the school opened, the school was very small and only had a class of 200 or 300 people for the whole building,” he said.

To compile the book’s information, Clemons reached out to the community for information and stories.