October 07, 2011

New School Building 1900

- Compiled by Betty Jane Wilson, Valley Falls Historical Society President

"Of nothing is a city more justifiably proud than of exceptionally good school facilities," stated an article from the Valley Falls Historical Society's history files titled "The City's Pride 1900 — Our School and Handsome New Building."

Continuing the article:
"October 5th, 1898, the old stone building was discovered on fire and in spite of all that could be done, the upper rooms were destroyed and the whole building so damaged, it was decided to build a new structure . . . although the basement and lower rooms were temporarily fixed up and with the addition of the city hall, school was continued.

"The patrons of the school promptly voted bonds and at once let the contract for the new building."

Monday morning, Sept. 17, 1900, school was scheduled to open in the new building, with the following description:

"Our new school building is one of the most modern and in every way admirable school houses in the state for a town of this size. It is a beautifully designed structure of brick on a stone foundation. The dimensions are about 90x90 feet. There are three entrances, one especially for the primary department. Mead's improved system of heating and ventilation extends throughout the building. It is a hot air system and the ventilation is effective without draughts. The lighting is very thorough and based on scientific principles. All floors are hard wood.

"There are ten rooms and as many wardrobes opening into each school room. Each room shares with one other a teachers' study making five of these in the building.  The assembly room and library may readily be thrown into one room making a spacious hall. The house is furnished with single seats and desks. Wall slates (blackboards) are liberally supplied."

The approximate cost of  the building and furnishings, $20,000.

The following teachers were hired for the opening year:  Prof. W.D. Ross, Miss Myers, Miss Murray, Miss Kamm, Miss Gephart, Miss Stephen, Miss Townsend, and Miss Harman. All female teachers, except Miss Harman and Miss Stephan, were Valley Falls High School graduates.

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