This site has been the home of the Town Municipal Offices since 1983 after the Town closed the former East Junior High School building in June 1982. The Jr. High moved next door into the newly renovated Doherty Elementary School formerly Central Elementary School. The school was then re-named Doherty Junior High in 1982 and then Doherty Middle School in September 1988.
This site, however, has a long history with the town's Educational history beginning in the 1850's. The land was once owned by the Richardson family and was pasture land for their farm. The Punchard Trustees purchased the first parcel in 1850 and constructed the Punchard Free School in 1854. The private education institution served as Andover's first high school. The funding came from the estate of Benjamin Hanover Punchard. Punchard bequeathed $50,000 to the town to build a high school, free to all in the community who qualified to attend.
The school opened in 1854 and the first graduating class was seven students in 1857. The first building was destroyed by fire in 1869 and for two years a high school operated in the Town House lower hall. The second building was designed in the same style as the first. It served as the Punchard Free School and Punchard High School from 1871 - 1904. The Punchard Trustees paid for half the teaching salaries and the Town paid the other half. In 1904 the Punchard Trust could no longer cover expenses and the Town took over full operations of the high school. From 1904-1958 the school was known as Punchard High School.
The present town office wing was built in 1916 and attached to the old Punchard High. This wing operated as the high school and also held the offices of the Superintendent of Schools. In 1934 the old 1871 Punchard building was razed and Memorial Auditorium, gymnasium and the Andover Junior High wing were added. The new additions opened in 1936 and the complex operated as two separate schools until 1958.
With the construction of a new Andover High School on Shawsheen Rd., (West Middle School today), the entire building became Andover Junior High School. 1958 - 1968. In 1968 the current Andover High School was opened on Shawsheen Rd. and the town created two Junior Highs. The former high school became West Junior High and this building was re-named East Junior High.
The central portion of the building containing the Memorial Auditorium and gymnasium were connected to the new Doherty Jr. High in 1982 and continues to be used for school purposes. The former cafeteria under the auditorium now serves a the town copy center and record storage. The rear wing on the east side of the complex houses the town School Administration Offices on the 2nd and 3rd floors and the Senior Center - now the Center at Punchard on the first level.
|Historic District||Not Applicable|
|Historic Name||Punchard High School - Town Administration Offices|
|Present Use||Town Offices and School Dept. Offices|
|Original Use||High School|
|Architectural Style||Georgian Revival|
|Foundation||stone, granite and brick|
|Roof||asphalt - gravel|
|Outbuildings / Secondary Structures||Rear addition of Memorial Auditorium, Gymnasium and Jr. High School wing - 1934-1936|
|Major Alterations||1958 - 1968 - Andover Junior High, 1968 - Renovated for East Jr. High School, 1982 - 1983 - Renovated for Town Office Buildings|
|Map and parcel||39-173A|
|Recorded by||Stack/Mofford, James Batchelder|
|Organization||Andover Preservation Commission|
|Date entered||1975-77, 11/2014|