Welch Jr. High opened its doors for the first day of class on State Avenue on September 3, 1968. This building replaced Welch School on South Hyland and was the first building committed to a Junior High School. After the opening of Welch Jr. High, the old Welch Elementary was renamed Harlan Elementary. In 1985, Central Jr. High and Welch Jr. High combined and reopened as the Ames Middle School. A new Middle School was built on Mortensen Road in 2005 and the old building on State Avenue was demolished in 2014.