San Dimas High School, part of the Bonita Unified School District, is nestled in the San Gabriel Foothills east of Los Angeles California, USA.
San Dimas High School was founded in the fall of 1970 to serve the city of San Dimas. The school began with eighth grade, freshman and sophomore classes and had its first graduating class in the spring of 1973. The mascot is the Saint (Saint George and the Dragon) and the school colors are royal blue and bright gold. A time capsule was placed at the north west end of the D building in June of 1973 to preserve the school’s early history.
The school was named as the home of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure in the feature film of 1989. Although none of this cult classic was filmed on the actual campus, tourists stopped by for several years to get a picture and shop for San Dimas Gear. The now famous line from the movie, “San Dimas High School Football Rules” became a song recorded by The Ataris in 1999 sparking a return of the sightseers.
Since the fall of 2008, the school has hosted an old fashioned Homecoming Parade in downtown San Dimas. Students from Elementary School to High School participate in this community event. The event has grown from year to year and includes all feeder schools and a crowd of onlookers. In 2016 the parade could not happen due to downtown construction.
Honors and Awards
In 1999, 2003, and 2009, San Dimas High School received recognition as a California Distinguished School. In 2007, the school won the Golden Bell Award from the California School Boards’ Association for its award winning Animation Program. This four year program is articulated for college credit and provides state of the art training in all aspects of Animation.
San Dimas High School has consistently been named one of “America’s Best High Schools” by Newsweek Magazine, “Best High Schools” silver award by US News and World Report, and one of “America’s Most Challenging High Schools” by the Washington Post.
Smudge Pot Bowl
The Smudge Pot Bowl was established in 1972 as a yearly football game against San Dimas’ sister school, Bonita High School. A record of wins and losses are recorded on the game trophy, a chromed Smudge Pot. The Smudge Pot was selected as a symbol of the citrus growing history of San Dimas and La Verne. It is exchanged at center field after each game and resides in the office of the winning team until the next year’s contest. The Smudge Pot Bowl outgrew the school stadiums and has been played at Citrus College for the past several years.
Smudge Pot Scores
In the fall of 1980, a bell tower was constructed as a focal point for the school’s main quad. The blue steel structure houses the bell from the original 1891 Mud Springs School (San Dimas Elementary School). The bell is rung each time a team wins a CIF title. The tower also has speakers that play music between classes. It was originally envisioned by the class of 1976 and money was saved for four years to make it a reality. The bell tower has become an icon to the students and alumni of San Dimas High School. The tower was refurbished in the summer of 2011 when the base was widened to replace a rusting foundation.
Stadium Seating and a press box were added to create Saint Stadium in 1987 thanks to a loan from the City of San Dimas. The loan was paid back by parent Athletic Boosters who also raised funds to build a field house. The field house includes public restrooms, locker room, weight room, coaches’ office, and snack bar. It was opened in the fall of 1992.
Modernization of the entire facility was completed in 2006. Modernization provided new infrastructure, power, lighting, heat and air conditioning, new whiteboards, computer access, carpeting, glazing and paint. In 2008, a new clock and speaker system, and new roofing were installed.
In 2011, a new parking lot was constructed north of the campus. It serves as staff parking during the day and provides evening parking for the athletic fields and stadium.
New construction in the stadium included installation of an all-weather track with reconfigured seating in 2012. The track is Saint Blue and draws attention from the 57 freeway which borders its east side. It is made of Mondo, a material used in Olympic stadiums.The remodel also added artificial turf, shot put enclosure, long jump pits, ticket booths along with upgraded lighting and hardscape.
Expansion and modernization of the gymnasium concluded in 2013 adding a third basketball court along with a new lobby, restrooms, bleachers, snack bar and storage area. The gym seats 1,700 which is large enough to seat the entire student body for assemblies and rallies.
A District Performing Arts Center was built on the former student parking lot. The Bonita Center for the Arts opened its doors on October 15, 2014 with a ribbon cutting ceremony and a grand opening performance on October 18, 2014. The 700 seat auditorium has a large stage, fly system, dressing rooms, cast room, ticket booth, office and workshop. It is used by every school in the district and by community and professional companies.
Solar panels were installed over the student parking to provide additional power to the school. They also provide shade for parking. This cost saving addition was completed in the fall of 2016 and dedicated with at ribbon cutting ceremony on January 11, 2017.