Humble High School
Charles Bender High School Campus
Charles Bender High School opened in February of 1930. The school is located at 611 Higgins Street, in Humble. It is the oldest Humble school building till standing. Students had previously attended Humble High School on Higgins Street (next door to Charles Bender High School).
A $140,000 schoolhouse bond was passed by the citizens of Humble to pay for the building.
The school was basically a smaller version of Robert E. Lee High School in Baytown. The district employed the architect for Robert E. Lee High School, Harry D. Payne, to design the new building for Humble. Mr. Payne included many special details into the construction of Charles Bender High School. He inscribed the Humble High School motto, "Impossible Is Un-American," over the top of one of the back doors.
Charles Bender High School was one of the most advanced schools in Harris County when it opened in 1930, because it included a cafeteria and a kitchen (at a time when many students simply walked home to eat lunch).
The school was commonly referred to as Humble High School (since it was the only high school in the district). Even the yearbooks for Charles Bender High School are printed as Humble High School.
Charles Bender High School Yearbook for 1958-1958
The school went through a renovation in 1955, which included adding on a Band Hall, Cafeteria and Gymnasium.
In 1965, the students and staff of Charles Bender High School moved to a new building: Humble High School on Wilson Road. The building was then used as Charles Bender Intermediate School.
In 1972, after the intermediate students moved to the new Humble Middle School, the Charles Bender High School building became the District Administration building. Years later, it became the Curriculum and Staff Development Center (CSDC). It was abandoned in 2003 after the opening of the Instructional Support Center (ISC).
In 2011, Gaby Diaz, a teacher at Atascocita High School (and an Humble High School alumni) and her students used "Impossible Is Un-American" as a rallying cry to convince Humble residents to save the building from demolition.
The district eventually sold the building to the City of Humble. In 2013, the City began a renovation of the building to turn it into a Performing Arts Center. Architect and Humble Alumni Scott Brady was brought in to design the renovation plans. On April 10, 2015, a concert was held for the official opening of the building. The City resotred the outside of the building to its original 1929 appearance, restored the auditorium, and added dressing roomsand a green room. The old classrooms were removed, and meeting rooms, offices and a lobby were added for the performing arts performances. The CIty of Humble did a tremendous job in restoring and making new use out of this historic building.
Handout: Explore Charles Bender High School
Link: Bender Performing Arts Center