Arnprior District High School has proud tradition of growth within its community.

The 140 -year history of Arnprior District High School is one of achievement and excellence.

Although the name Arnprior High School and its current location wasn't established until 1876, the school dates back as far as 1864 when students at Arnprior Public School were coached by Principal Dugald McNab in Latin which led to the establishment of the Arnprior Grammar School. This made secondary school education available in the growing Town of Arnprior.

The grammar school opened in 1865. Headmaster James Muir was charged with 30 students. The school was held in a room in a building on the northeast corner of Ottawa and Harriet streets.

Not long after the grammar school opened local physician Dr. Cranston began to develop plans to start a high school in Arnprior. Meanwhile the Arnprior Grammar School had moved to the east side of Harriet Street and then again the next year to the west side of Harriet Street where the Methodist church is now located.

The school was re-named The Arnprior High School and six more moves later found its permanent home on the corner of Ottawa and Hugh (now Bell) streets where it still exists in its current form today. In 1875 a four-room brick building was built and would be the first high school in Arnprior.

The following year students began classes under the supervision of Principal William C. Middleton.

From the time the school opened, and as the town began to grow, enrolment increased constantly. In 1910 the school was entirely remodelled and a large addition was built. Students attended class at the Town Hall as the $14,338-renovation occurred.

The school's attendance had grown to 200. To accommodate the student body the new ground floor of the school consisted of three classrooms, two cloakrooms, a teachers' room and two vestibules. The second floor had two additional classrooms, a science lecture hall and a chemical room while the basement contained the boilers, a separate boys' and girls' playroom, bathrooms and a coal room.

In 1920 the school was once again overcrowded and in 1923 renovated again. Four more classrooms, a gymnasium and an assembly hall were added.

A shop room and home economics department was in added in 1943.

In 1950 it was decided the school's name should be changed to Arnprior District High School to recognize the large number of rural students from the surrounding area that now attended the school.

Two years later the school was renovated again with a new wing added which housed a shop, agricultural lab and gym. By this time the school housed 25 rooms, 17 teachers and 420 students.

Over the next 20 years the additions of a library, greenhouse, commercial wing and a business class, art rooms, a home economics room and student service area were added among other rooms.

In July of 1977 the school's original sections were destroyed by fire resulting in more than $1 million damage. A month later, another fire destroyed the auditorium at the school.

In 1997 the school underwent its last (so far) major renovation when the front offices and library were renovated, new labs were built, computer rooms were added and the school's kitchen was rebuilt. A new floor was installed in the school's large gym and halls and ventilation was installed. A new roof was also built and the entire cost of the work was $4.5 million.