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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa.


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STEPHEN HEMPSTEAD HIGH SCHOOL. Planning for the $5.7 million building began in the fall of 1966 with non-teaching, instructional, and administrative personnel encouraged to help design the building. In January, 1967 an estimated $100,000 was spent purchasing forty acres of land along Pennsylvania Avenue and a $6.7 million bond issue was approved in the spring of 1967. (1)

Construction began in the fall of 1968. Classes scheduled to start in the new building in the fall of 1969 were not able to begin until the spring of 1970 due to bad weather and strikes. The official dedication of the building was held on October 25, 1970.

In 1993 the school pioneered the concept in Dubuque of a "summer clinic" for those who needed help or, in some cases, needed credits for class they had failed. (2)

In May 1998 "Mustang Spirit," a sculpture of four spirited mustangs was unveiled at the school as a tribute to retiring principal Don Moody and soon to retire Bill Peck, Hempstead's assistant principal. The idea for the statue came from English teacher Ken Resch. The sculpture was based on a sketch by Hempstead senior Val Barbaro. Contributions came from students in a career orientation program and in National Honor Society. It was assembled with donated time from workers at JOHN DEERE DUBUQUE WORKS, a school partner. (3)

The new look of Hempstead in 2015. Photo courtesy: Dubuque Community School District
Photo courtesy: Dubuque Community School District
Photo courtesy: Dubuque Community School District
Photo courtesy: Dubuque Community School District
Open House/Dedication on October 3, 2015. Photo courtesy: Dubuque Community School District
In June 2015, the $30 million renovation of the high school was running ahead of schedule. Groundbreaking for the renovation and addition began in May 2013. Following the removal of the former auditorium, work on the administration wing began. A new auditorium and two music classrooms were completed near the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year. Work during the summer of 2015 was directed at completing new science classrooms and a business office for the high school in addition to improvement to the gymnasium and the career-and technical education areas. Work for the entire project was funded by a 1-cent sales tax. The work added 141,209-square feet to the building. (4)

In June 2017 a committee of school board members and swim coaches determined that Hempstead should be the location of the district's new swimming pool. Already the location of a pool, Hempstead would be a diving well and eight-lane pool constructed with existing lockers and corridors maintained. The addition was estimated to cost $7.5 million. Also being considered was a competition pool at Eleanor Roosevelt Middle School. (5)


    Richard CORE



1. "Chronology," Telegraph Herald, December 31, 1967, p. 18

2. Krapfl, Mike. "Success Focus of Summer School Clinic," Telegraph Herald, July 2, 1993, p. 3A

3. Krapfl, Mike. "Sculpture Recognizes Moody's Leadership," Telegraph Herald, May 21, 1998, p. 3A. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=aEyKTaVlRPYC&dat=19980521&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

4. Becker, Stacey. "Hempstead's $30 Million Facelift Nears Finish Line," Telegraph Herald, June 5, 2015, p. 1

5. "Site Panel: Put New Pool at Hempstead," Telegraph Herald, June 7, 2017, p. 1A