In the spring of 1927, former premier of Ontario and Minister of Education, G. Howard Ferguson visited Cochrane and found the existing school building unfit for students. So, it was determined that a new school would be built near Lake Commando. Construction began that summer and was completed at the end of the year.
In January 1928, Cochrane High School was officially opened to the public. In that first year, the ground floor of the school was rented out to the Public School Board while the high school's four forms were housed on the top floor. But, by the 1929-30 school year, an increased enrollment led to staff being increased to five teachers. Also, at this time, a special French course was introduced for the French-speaking students who were beginning to attend the school for the first time. This building provided adequate accomodation until 1938 when the Department of Education called for courses in shop work and home economics. Due to space restrictions, these courses were offered at Central School. In 1945, a course in agriculture was added as well. Students in Grades 9 and 10 received instruction in various special agricultural topics.
Student enrollment increased sharply during the 1940's and 1950's. In 1930, there were 130 students. By 1963, there were 311 students. This number was projected to increase in future years. The building proved to be inadequate for the needs of the school.
So, in 1971, the pupils moved into a brand new secondary school which is our present high school. It was renamed Ecole Secondaire Cochrane High School. During the 70's and 80's many new clubs fomed including the Drama Club, Reach for the Top, Concours Litteraire, Voyageur Club, Genie en Herbe and much more. There was cafeteria food available for the first time. Student athletics continued to be very popular and many students joined various sports teams. ESCHS even had a football team and cheerleading squad!
In 1984, Principal William J. Mulligan, with the support of the School Board and staff introduced a totally new educational system that was modelled after a system in place at a high school in Alberta. Called Project Excellence, students learned through self-study and at their own pace. Through this model of education, it was possible to offer 350 courses which was unheard of for a small, rural school. This system was well received by some but not all, and was widely debated in the community at large for its merits and shortcomings. Project Excellence was phased out in the early 2000's.
Since that time, the school has continued to evolve and change. In 2014, Ecole Secondaire and Cochrane High School and Cochrane Public School merged under the leadership of one Principal and two Vice-Principals. With both schools in the same building, there continues to be a committment to offer the best education possible to graduate students well prepared for the challenges and uncertainies of the 21st century.