On June 7, 1920, the cornerstone of the "South Building" extension was laid. This would include an auditorium, cafeteria, and new gymnasium. A portion of this wing collapsed while under construction in November 1920. The addition opened in the Spring of 1922.
In 1953, the Charles E. Emmerich Manual Training High School relocated to 2405 Madison Avenue, its present location. The Meridian Street facility was renamed the Harry E. Wood Vocational Training School.
Harry E. Wood High School opened in the fall of 1953 with the specific purpose of providing vocational education at the secondary level. Indianapolis Public Schools refurbished the old building with an extensive $350,000 renovation.
While vocational training was the original purpose of Wood High School, the school board decided that the primary focus would be on academics, but with exceptional facilities and curriculum to provide students with the vocational training they would need to be successful after high school.
The new school was named for Harry E. Wood, who was an alumni of Manual High School. He became an renowned artist and craftsman, and was an educator and administrator at Manual. He also lectured at many universities and was president of several art associations. Wood retired from IPS in 1950 and died in 1951.