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Alumni preserve legacy and history of beloved high school in Newport News

Hundreds gathered to celebrate 100+ years since the opening of Huntington High School on Saturday.

HAMPTON, Va. — Memories from a local school live on. More than 100 years have passed since Huntington High School (HHS) opened in Newport News. 

Those with connections to the former HHS marked a special day, filling the ballrooms at the Hampton Roads Convention Center in Hampton for a celebration. 

Some memorabilia and artifacts were displayed inside.

13News Now spoke with alumni and community members who described the old high school as an icon and pillar of the Southeast community of Newport News.

The all-Black institution opened in 1920. It closed in 1971 during integration and then became Huntington Middle School.

On Saturday night, hundreds came together with the mission of keeping the legacy of HHS alive.

“The idea came in from a brother of ours, the past president. That was 2017. Then, with the coronavirus, we’re so blessed and grateful to be able to put this event together tonight," said Alumni Association President Lloyd Barner. “We’ve got people that have come from out of town, far and near, just to help partake in this unity.”

“We’re going to be walking through memory lanes. We have the teachers, we have a lot of students," said Alumni Association Acting Chaplain and Sergeant at Arms Terry Gorham Thomas. 

Alumni also told 13News Now they feel encouraged by the fact that Huntington’s legacy will continue with the relocation and construction of a new middle school.

Moreover, Newport News School Board Member Dr. Terri Best said many alumni from HHS have gone on to make significant contributions to the community, city, state and country.

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