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.
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.