The school that is now duPont Manual High School is a combination of two separate older schools. The Louisville Girls High School and duPont Manual Training High School. The Louisville Girls High School began operation in April, 1856. Originally located in an old building at Center and Walnut Streets, it started with an enrollment of 69 and a faculty of 3. The Louisville Girls School moved three times during its history as it continued to grow. By 1923, the new building at 5th and Hill could comfortably house only 1,400 students but had more than 2,600. This overcrowding was somewhat relieved with the opening of Atherton and then Shawnee High Schools, but once again a new building was needed.
Architect J. Meerick Colley was hired to design a new facility to be located at 2nd and Lee. Built by the Rommel Co. in 1933, the massive Collegiate Gothic structure was named Reuben Post Halleck Hall after prominent local educator and textbook author, Reuben Post Halleck. It is one of the most ambitious school plants built in Louisville in the twentieth century. The front portion of the original structure is U-shaped with two rear projecting wings which form two courtyards. The central entry is marked by a five story tower framed by three double doors set between gothic pilasters with huge stone arched transoms.
DuPont Manual Training High School had been founded in October 1892. It was funded by a generous donation by Mr. A.V. duPont. The school was originally located at the corner of Brook and Oak Streets with an enrollment of 109 boys. The original purpose of the school was to provide young men with a system of education which would fit them, in a more direct and positive manner, for the actual duties of life. The school was to provide three years of high school and prepare a large number of boys with skills to earn their living in industrial pursuits.
During the years 1915-19, the school board decided that there was not sufficient funds to run two boys schools as separate units. Manual was merged with Louisville Boys High (Male) and ceased to exist except as an auxiliary unit under the guise of "economy and efficiency." The consolidation remained in force until 1919.
In September 1950, the advent of coeducation brought about the merger of the Louisville Girls High School and duPont Manual Training High School. The new school was renamed duPont Manual High School.
Today Manual is a blend of traditional education and innovative trends. With a student body of 1,980 and a teaching faculty of 97, 3 assistant principals, a head principal, and 3 guidance counselors, Manual continues to thrive. In 1978, the Youth Performing Arts School became part of Manual. Manual became a magnet school in August 1984. Today, the school has five magnet programs: the Youth Performing Arts School magnet, the Math, Science and Technology magnet, the Visual Arts magnet, the High School University magnet, and the Communications Media Arts magnet.
School Facts and Awards:
duPont Manual-- The Magnet High School is an optional, comprehensive high school offering unique academic programs for qualified students with special interests, talents, and ambitions. The Magnet High School offers motivated students the opportunity to combine strong academics with specialized instruction in one of five component areas: High School University; Visual Arts; Communications/ Media Arts; Youth Performing Arts School; and Mathematics Science and Technology. The Advance Program is also available for eligible students. Through a working relationship with the University of Louisville, qualified students in all programs may take college courses for credit while attending duPont Manual. Students have access to more College Board Advanced Placement courses at Manual than at any school in Kentucky.
- Perennial Top Academic School in Kentucky
- Highest ACT average in Kentucky
- U. S. Department of Education's National School of Excellence
- Newsweek's "America's Top Schools" Top 100 Nationally
- Redbook Magazine's "America's Best Schools"
- Kentucky Flag of Excellence
- Most National Merit Semi-finalists among all JCPS High Schools
- Presidental Scholars
- Mulitple Science Award winners
- National Scholastic Arts Award Winner