Located in Columbia, MD, Wilde Lake High School was opened in 1971. At the time, the architecture was considered extremely progressive: the building was shaped like a doughnut, and as an "open-space" school the only walls were between subject sections. All of the English classes were held in one large area, but they were separate from the math classes. Without ceilings, though, sound still carried between sections. Eventually lightweight walls were added, and panels hung from the roof helped keep sound in one classroom but still allowed for some overlap.

After more than twenty years, though, the school was falling apart. A few new schools had been built in the county, and it was decided that Wilde Lake would be demolished and a new building erected on the same spot. At the end of the 1993-1994 school year, parts of the building - bricks, concrete blocks, and even auditorium chairs - were sold to anyone interested and the school was permanently closed. From September 1994 through May 1996, students attended "Wilde Lake at River Hill" in the new River Hill High School building.

Construction was nearly complete when it was time for students to begin classes of the 1996-1997 school year and a new rectangular three-story building stood where the old school had been. The only remnant from the original building was a five-foot piece of "the rail," which was a metal railing around the interior ring of the original doughnut shape that had been a popular hangout for students between classes.

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