Central High School was the heart of the Southside African-American community for most of the twentieth century. Despite protests, the Minneapolis Public Schools decided to close the building in 1982. It was demolished soon thereafter (except for the gymnasium, which remains). The school was also critical in the life of Prince Rogers Nelson, who attended high school here from 1972-1976. As a high schooler here, Prince not only attended classes but also worked closely with music teachers who nurtured his prodigious talents. In his first-ever interview—with the student newspaper in 1976—Prince noted that he had been playing with Grand Central for two years and that it was “very hard for a band to make it in this state, even if they're good. Mainly because there aren't any big record companies or studios in this state.” It was during his time at Central that he, André, and Morris all became members of the local musicians union. Prince graduated from Central High School in 1976.