McClain High School was a gift from industrialist Edward Lee McClain and his wife, Lulu. The cornerstone was laid in 1914 and the school dedicated in 1915. The campus was later expanded with the addition of a vocational building housing a state of the art cafeteria, wood and metal shops, mechanical drawing studio, business classrooms, fully equipped vocational agriculture classrooms, and one of the few high school natatoriums in the nation.
The needs of younger children were provided for by the subsequent completion of a companion elementary school funded by the citizens of the school district. In 1960 additional elementary classrooms were provided with the completion of the Duncan McArthur Primary Building.
Given the communities rural nature McClain wanted to expose students to the world’s art and culture. To help carry out this he and his wife filled the halls and walls of the school with approximately two-hundred paintings, statues, murals, and reliefs. All replicas of antiquity’s treasures as well as contemporary masterpieces.
In the near century since opening its doors the uniqueness of McClain High School has been written about in numerous publications and television news pieces. During the 1990s the State of Ohio began a program of replacing many of Ohio’s aging school buildings. Under the formula if a school could be replaced for less than it could be restored it fell to the wrecker’s ball. McClain was one of the very few schools to receive an exemption from these mandates. It’s historical prominence was thought too great to demolish and many millions went into its restoration beginning in 2000.
Today it is a state of the art educational campus standing ready and prepared to meet the educational needs of its students for decades to come.