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Aerial View Of The East Side Junior High School
Known As Washington.
Washington School, 1927.
Front view of Washington School.
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 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, Jefferson,
Monroe and Harrison schools). Coincident with this recommendation
is the suggestion of an addition to Jefferson School.
This step is made imperative because of the congestion
of 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.
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,
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, 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, 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
Tour Washington School — One Last
The sign on the top of the building clearly states “Washington
Junior High School 1924”. Other words on the building are:
“Industry”, “Liberty”, “Morality”
and “Education”. The plaque at the very top center
is of George Washington’s likeness.
Washington School on Hartzell Avenue is a beautiful building.
There is a cafeteria, auditorium, gym, along with many classrooms
in the three floors along with a huge basement and a furnace room.
Many a young child has trudged up the massive
cement steps, through the heavy doors, and into a classroom to
start their education. In the beginning, this school served classes
from 1-9 then the student went downtown to McKinley High School,
(later Edison School) on Church Street for the remainder of their
Things have changed in Niles. Neighborhood schools,
as we knew them, are a thing of the past. This year a new high
school was built just north of the old McKinley High School which
will be demolished soon. Then Lincoln School, built in 1956, was
torn down and now a new K-2 School is being built on that site
on Frederick Street. On East Margaret Street, S. J. Bonham School,
built in 1956, has been razed and a new 3,4,and5 grade school
is being built. The new Middle School on Brown Street houses all
the students in classes 6,7,and 8.
So this leads us back to Washington School. It too will soon be
razed. So we’ll take one last look around.
Remember the auditorium where all those school
plays and musical programs took place? How
many remember the gym, where you could throw the basketball and
it hit the surrounding rim of the track above, or the ball would
hit the steel beam. Remember the water fountain in the cafeteria.
It was up so high, that you had to use the step stool to get a
drink when you were small. Passing through the doors to arrive
at the cafeteria which was home to many after school functions.
The steps to next floor are built of salt and pepper granite.
Now they are well worn from all the foot traffic they have had
through the years. So for 89 years, Washington School served the
community well and it holds a lot of memories for each of us.
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, 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, 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.
Steps to Stevens Park. |
Liberty Motto |
Front of Washington School.
Lower cafeteria entrance. |
Back auditorium fire escape.