Hayward Collegiate Institute

The ground on which Fairfield Community High School now stands was once home to another educational institution, the Hayward Collegiate Institute. The college was largely funded by Robert Hayward, 1826-1908, for whom it was named. The founders stated it the intention to make Hayward the best, most inexpensive and widely influential school in the area. Around 2,000 students attended, before the building burned in 1898.

The Beginning & Expansion of FCHS

Fairfield Community High School was erected, on the former grounds of Hayward, in 1925. Architect A.L. Pillsbury constructed the building and Fairfield Community High School's first principal was P.A. Stierwalt. The school's center structure remained untouched until 1956, when an east addition was constructed. Today, this addition houses the east gymnasium and athletic facilities. To allow for further development of the school, a west wing was constructed in 1964. Presently, this section of the building houses a small gymnasium, a computer lab, science laboratories, and several classrooms. During the construction of the west wing, additions were added onto the already constructed east wing. This addition is home to the school's music department, featuring band and choral facilities.


Several renovations have been performed, throughout the years, to further develop the offerings of the school. In 2004-2005, the buildings renovations included the upgrading of the heating/cooling system and the installation of thermal pane windows. These two measures were taken to allow for better energy efficiency. In the summer of 2008, the school resurfaced their running track, constructing a modern all weather track. The summer of 2009 saw the construction of a greenhouse; it was made possible due to grants from the State of Illinois and funding from the City of Fairfield.

Present Day

Today, Fairfield Community High School is celebrating a history of 90 years. Drawing from such a long experience, FCHS is continuing development to ensure several more successful years of education excellence.