Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, November 1, 1998, pg. 15
Of you were unable to attend my Riverside Cemetery tour on October 11, I encourage you to obtain a copy of the official program tour booklet we used at the event. These make intereseting reading, and you can get them at the Albion Chamber of Commerce.
Continuing with our theme of the construction of Washington Gardner High School, elementary grades were placed in the 1885 and 1893-built east wing of the old "Central School complex. Anticipating a continued increase in school enrollment, the board voted on May 16, 1926 to issue bonds to fund the construction of the new east wing which would be attached to the 1906-built Central School building. The junior high grades would be housed on the ground floor, while the elementary grades on the second and third floors.
An election was held, and the $175,000 orioisak oassed 375 to 176. The contract was awarded to Fred W. Schumacher. The design for the building was made to match the 1922-erected ‘"High School west wing. The new addition contained fourteen classrooms and a small gymnasium.
At this time the old 1885-1893-erected east wing which sat in the rear of the school and had been used for elementary classes, was dmolished as part of the project. The bricks and materials from this structure were used to erecte a sports fieldhouse in Victory Park. This is now the Park Office. The cost of erecting that building was $2,000. If you take a look at the building today, you will notice the original cornerstone pieces on that building, as well as the old bricks from the school.
When the new east wing was opened at the start of the 1927-28 school year, the East Ward School located at "Five Points (East Michigan Avenue at Jackson Street)," presently the Gold Star Park, was closed and elementary students were sent to Washington Gardner instead.
From our Historical Notebook this week we present a rare photograph taken in the fall of 1926. It shows the construction of the new elementary and junior high wing on the right, the 1906-built Central School in the center, and the 1922-erected High School on the west side. This scene was not to remain long. Next week: the fire, and the construction of Washington Gardner High School.
1926 School Construction
All text copyright, 2020 © all rights reserved Frank Passic