Princess Anne High School is the oldest secondary school in Virginia Beach. In June 2013, we celebrated our 60th graduating class.
Princess Anne opened in August 1954, with 1,558 students and 62 teachers. It was formed from the consolidation of the three high schools that then served Princess Anne County. The student population peaked in the early seventies with approximately 2,800 students. The service area for Princess Anne High school is approximately 13 square miles for the regular instructional program.
Today the school serves approximately 1,800 students in grades 9 through 12, including the West Building which serves secondary level severely handicapped special education students from the entire city, and the International Baccalaureate Magnet Center draws students from all schools in Virginia Beach.
The school was modernized several times beginning in 1985. The most recent changes occurred during the 1995-97 period. A fire destroyed about one-third of the building in September 1995, four days before the opening of school. The majority of classes were held for the entire 1995-96 school year and the 1996 fall semester in Celebration Station, a vacant shopping mall on Virginia Beach Boulevard approximately two miles from the main campus. Buses "shuttled" students from classes at Celebration Station to portable classrooms at the main campus in the fall of 1995, and then to classes in a new wing which had been under construction prior to the fire. The new wing (the 900 hall), consisting of 26 science classrooms and labs, opened in January 1996.
In 1996, the entire front of the 2-story building known as the 200 hall was completely rebuilt. The second floor library, where the fire originally started, was rebuilt and expanded over a first floor "multi-purpose" addition. A new wing for art classes/studios was added behind the renovated administrative offices in the front of the building. The school reopened in January 1997. A dedication was held May 4, 1997. That is why we say we are the "newest-oldest" high school in Virginia Beach. Princess Anne High School is no longer the "county" school it once was when it opened. Now some people are calling it the "downtown" school because we are two blocks from the heart of "Town Center," the business hub of Virginia Beach.