Front View of Thomas House

Ward-Thomas Museum

Ohio Association of Historical Societies and Museums

Five images of buildings and grounds

New Schools Planned

Ward — Thomas Museum
Home of the Niles Historical Society
503 Brown Street Niles, Ohio 44446

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Mail: PO Box 368 Niles, Ohio 44446

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New Schools Planned for Niles.

Not in 2013, not in 1956, but in 1923, the Niles City School Board discusses the need for a new construction of school buildings.

“Superintendent R.J. Kiefer states needs of schools here. A recent school survey recommended a six-room addition to the Garfield (Third Street School) is the first step in the building program. It is estimated that this addition should serve the needs of the south side until 1931.

The next step in the survey recommends an East Side junior high school(Washington Junior High School) which should house the seventh, eighth and ninth grades living in that section of the city as well as grades one to six and substantially relieve the congestion and overflow now registered with all east side schools: Lincoln, Cedar Street; Jefferson, South Bentley; Monroe, Bert Street; and Harrison, McKinley Heights; schools.

Coincident with this recommendation is the suggestion of an addition to Jefferson School.

Aerial View of Washington Junior High School

Aerial View of Washington Junior High School

This step is made imperative because of the congestion of student population. Some idea of the crowded conditions may be obtained from the following facts. One portable room is now used at the Lincoln School; two portable rooms at Monroe school and two poorly lighted, and ventilated overcrowded basement rooms at the Jefferson school, and another basement room at Harrison school.

In addition to this the old Central school and Grant school (Leslie Avenue School) – schools long ordered closed by the state- have been put into use, Roosevelt (Madison Avenue) is filled; the Jackson building is overcrowded; the eighth grade is housed in the high school, rooms designed for shop work are used for class rooms, and the auditorium put into use for study hours- a shortage which totals 21 rooms

Side view of Washington School, 2013.

Side view of Washington School, 2013.

With an annual increase in population of from 200 to 250, four to six additional rooms will be needed next year and the same number for the ensuing year.

To meet this emergency, six to eight rooms must be added to Jefferson school and a new junior high school of 24 to 28 rooms so constructed that additional rooms may be placed as needed without destroying its symmetry.

Proposed $350,000 bond issue to be submitted to the electors at the November election.”

Niles Evening Register September 28, 1923.

Editor: the 1923 bond issue passed and work began on the construction of Washington Junior High School in 1924.

View of Gymnasium with top level, 2013

View of Gymnasium with top level, 2013

Personal Washington Memories: going home for lunch, opening and smelling your crayon box for the first time, the taste of paste in a jar, finding sassafras roots in the woods, riding a bike to school, special assemblies with the ‘Science Guy’, clapping dust from erasers, School Nurse, Selena Coupland, checking our heads with an ultra-violet lamp, finding the secret rooms above the stage, clocks with Roman numerals, school patrol boys with badges to help the younger ones across Hartzell Avenue, Church League Basketball games at night in the gym, class recess on the big playground, riding your bike home down the ‘Ash Path’, and of course—sled riding down Washington Hill.

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