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PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Portland High School is marking a major milestone Thursday. The campus is celebrating it's 150th anniversary and has the distinction of being the second oldest continuously operating public high school in the country.

Former students got a chance to look up their senior pictures from year books on display in the school's alumni room. Some were looking for pictures of their parents or old friends.

Portland High students conducted tours of the school, which has gone through several renovations over the years. The visit to the school was especially sentimental for Carol Gile, who's father Harold Paulson coached the boys swimming teams to national championships in the 40's and 50's. Gile says keeping up an historic school can be costly for taxpayers, it needs to remain open for future generations.

"I think Portland should stay, we have a very strong tradition here, it is like a family. Granted, it has become a very big family," said Gile.

Portland High dates back to 1821 when it was a Latin Secondary School for boys, originally located on Exchange Street. During 1863-64 school year both the public boys and girls schools were moved into Portland High School, the current building on Cumberland Avenue.

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