Current and former students, administrators and staff are invited to Blendon Middle School’s 50th anniversary open house, slated for Wednesday evening, November 6, from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Blendon is located at 223 South Otterbein Avenue in Westerville. A number of activities will take place throughout the evening, and food trucks will be present to provide sustenance. Free cookies will be handed out and commemorative T-shirts will be sold for $10 each. Organizers hope the community will turn out in droves to celebrate Blendon’s 50 years of educating children.
Blendon opened its doors in the fall of 1969 as the second junior high school in Westerville (Walnut Springs was first). The mascot was the bobcat and school colors were red and white. The building opened a week late because many portions of the structure were not completed. Dedication and an open house took place on September 28, 1969. Regis Birckbichler was the first principal; Dr. Robert Taylor served as President of the Westerville Board of Education; and Harold C. McDermott was Superintendent of Schools.
Initially, Blendon served grades seven through nine, and enrollment was just over 1,000 students. Within a year, a 1968 bond issue financed construction of an addition of nine rooms to the original structure consisting of 27 rooms. By 1974, the student population topped 1,283 and overcrowding forced the school go on split sessions. In 1975, the ninth grade class was moved to Westerville South High School. From 1976 to 1988, Blendon served mostly seventh and eighth graders, with four classes of sixth grade students from 1978-1980. With the opening of a third middle school in 1989 (Heritage), Blendon became a sixth, seventh and eighth grade building, which remains the same today. The mascot was changed to the bulldog and school colors became blue and gray. Since then, under several leaders, Blendon Middle School has created an award-winning legacy of excellence in education. The current principal is Kendall Harris.