For some sixty years, Elkhart's students learned in a large building downtown, part of which still stands as an annex to the city-county building. In 1967, a new high school opened on the site of what is now Elkhart Central. Almost immediately the new building was overcrowded, so planning began for a second high school.
This building was designed and built by Everett I. Brown and Company of Indianapolis and was built to accommodate a schedule and curriculum organized around modular periods. Accordingly, the building features lecture halls, seminar rooms, and departmental office areas.
Elkhart Memorial High School opened its doors to students in 1972. The school was named in tribute to the many Elkhart students who have served their city, state, and country. Dedication ceremonies were held October 28, 1972. The school received a Special First Class Commission by the state of Indiana. On March 30, 1973, the school became a fully accredited member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. From 1972-1984 Elkhart Memorial housed 3 grades, 10-12. The ninth grade was added in 1985, resulting in remodeling of the library and additional classroom space.
A 14 million dollar project, designed by Fanning/Howey Associates, Inc., began on April 14, 1998 to add 16 classrooms, additional office space, new industrial technology laboratories, dance studio, weight room, renovated locker rooms, and an additional gym. The entire project expanded total square footage of the school to 426,256 feet. As part of the remodeling, every classroom was wired for voice, video, and data.
Currently, Elkhart Memorial High School has 67 classrooms. The school also has 8 computer labs, 11 science labs with adjoining classrooms, 4 lecture halls, a computerized writing lab, family and consumer sciences lab areas, and state-of-the-art industrial technology lab facilities. The industrial technology areas offer students modular stations for applied learning in the following: plastics, robotics, CNC machining, hydraulics and pneumatics, aerodynamics, motor circuitry, lasers, electronics, mechanical and architectural drafting, manufacturing systems, constructing systems, video editing, and computer assembly.
In the winter of 2001, the School Board approved the completion of Charger Field with the erection of grandstands that will seat 4,420 fans, a press box, concession buildings, and gateways, thus giving Elkhart Memorial High School its first true home football game in its history on August 23, 2002. The 2011-12 school year marks the 39th year of Memorial High School.