In an effort to educate the growing population of Kansas City, Central first opened its doors in 1884 as Central High School at Eleventh and Locust. In 1912, construction was started on Central’s second building dubbed “new” Central High School, located at Linwood Blvd. and Indiana Ave. The oldest high school in Kansas City, Central was dubbed “The largest in the west”.
Construction on a third, larger building was started in the early 90s. The new building features a large, one-acre field house, Greek-style theatre, an Olympic-sized swimming pool and state-of-the-art classrooms. The school colors are blue and white and the school's athletic teams are referred to as the “Eagles”.
Famous Central graduates include:
- Walt Disney, animator; multiple Oscar Award winner; innovator
- Hal Boyle, syndicated columnist
- William Powell, poet and actor; three-time nominee for Academy Award for Best Actor
- Kutt Calhoun, rapper
- Derek Hood, professional basketball player
- Muna Lee, Olympic sprinter
- Irene C. Peden, first female American engineer to conduct research in the Antarctic
- Lee Shippey, writer and columnist
- Charles Stevenson, General Manager of Hall Brothers (now Hallmark)
- Casey Stengel, Major League Baseball player and manager