The name, Pasco, was given to the city by Virgil Bouge, an engineer working for the Northern Pacific Railroad, who was in charge of the Cascade branch. Prior to coming to the Northwest, Mr. Bouge worked on a railroad in the Andes Mountains in South America. The highest point of the South American railroad line was a mining town called Cerro de Pasco. He christened the town Pasco.
The first high school was built in 1909 at a cost of $9,000. It was called the West Side School (later named Longfellow School). Longfellow was a two-story building used as a combination grade school and high school in 1922. The second high school was built on North Third Street. The school board voted and named it Washington High School. According to legend, many were unhappy with the name change and the sign mysteriously disappeared. The school was now called Pasco High.
The third and current high school was built in 1953 without an auditorium. The school board asked for a one-year special levy to build the auditorium. It passed by a large majority, and the $268,000 auditorium was built. Additions to Pasco High were built in 1958, 1969, and 1971. The 1971 addition included a new library. The last remodeling was completed in 1995, which included replacing the wiring, heating, cooling systems, expanding the office, and remodeling the auditorium. Captain Gray grade school was remodeled and annexed to the Pasco High campus. In August of 2000, Pasco High School opened with a new addition called the “R-Wing”.