Springville High School his­tory

Serve Daily - - NEWS - By M. Lee Tay­lor

Part 2 of 2

As Springville grew and the need arose for ad­di­tional school space, the cit­i­zens be­gan a build­ing frenzy, in co­op­er­a­tion with the newly or­ga­nized Springville School Dis­trict. The “Cen­tral School” in Maple­ton, com­pleted in 1899, was the first ma­jor school build­ing erected in this pe­riod. Shortly af­ter­wards, the Jefferson School was com­pleted in 1902, the Lin­coln School soon fol­lowed in 1903, and a few years later, the Grant School was com­pleted, in 1906. By now the Cen­tral School was be­ing re­ferred to as the “Wash­ing­ton School”, per­haps to as­so­ciate more closely with the pres­i­den­tial names of the three new Springville el­e­men­tary schools.

As the de­mand for higher ed­u­ca­tion grew, the com­mu­nity ral­lied be­hind the ef­forts to build a real High School, and in 1909 the orig­i­nal Springville High School build­ing opened its doors, be­com­ing the first pub­lic high school in Utah County. Just three years later, in 1912, work com­menced on a new high school build­ing, to the east of the orig­i­nal, which was com­pleted in 1914. At that time Wash­ing­ton School be­came the el­e­men­tary fin­ish­ing school, with only the 5th and 6th grade classes be­ing taught. The new high school build­ing con­tained all of the lat­est fea­tures that a mod­ern school could hope for, in­clud­ing an in­door swimming pool, an in­door gym­na­sium, a li­brary, home eco­nomic and sci­ence rooms, and an au­di­to­rium of suf­fi­cient size to seat the en­tire stu­dent body.

It should be noted here that due to the suc­cess of the high school sys­tem in Springville, the Hunger­ford Academy suf­fered from a lack of en­roll­ment which was cause for the school to close, and the beau­ti­ful build­ing was de­mol­ished in 1912, after serv­ing the com­mu­nity for only 26 years. The boys dorm was con­verted to a sin­gle level home on 200 South, and the girls dorm was re­mod­eled to be­come Strong’s Apart­ments.

In 1924 the LDS Church ini­ti­ated the Sem­i­nary pro­gram. As more stu­dents flooded the halls of Springville High School, it be­came nec­es­sary to ex­pand the build­ing, and the south wing was added in 1927. In 1927, the Church com­menced con­struc­tion of the Sem­i­nary build­ing near the high school, which was com­pleted in 1928. The Sev­enty’s Hall con­tin­ued to hold In­dus­trial Arts classes for the high school, un­til com­ple­tion of the new In­dus­trial Arts build­ing in 1930. The Sev­enty’s Hall was then de­mol­ished, and the area was used to ex­pand the play­ground area of the Wash­ing­ton School to the west. In 1935 the Wash­ing­ton School was de­ter­mined to be a fire haz­ard, too dan­ger­ous to be used as a pub­lic school, and the doors were closed.

In 1935, dur­ing the height of the Great De­pres­sion, a ground break­ing was held to her­ald the con­struc­tion of a new Art Build­ing for the Springville High School by the WPA. Con­struc­tion, which con­tin­ued through 1936, not only cre­ated desperately needed jobs for lo­cal work­men, when com­pleted in 1937, it also cre­ated much needed class­room and art ex­hi­bi­tion space for the high schools ex­pand­ing art col­lec­tion. Im­me­di­ately after the Art build­ing was com­pleted, the WPA be­gan another con­struc­tion project just to the south of it, a new, mod­ern gym­na­sium for the high school.

Simultaneously, de­mo­li­tion be­gan on the old Wash­ing­ton School, and much needed build­ing ma­te­ri­als were sal­vaged and used in the con­struc­tion of the new build­ing, which was com­pleted in 1939. The cam­pus was com­plete.

The new gym­na­sium not only pro­vided space for much needed cen­tral lunch fa­cil­i­ties, it also pro­vided a venue for many high school ac­tiv­i­ties. Pre­vi­ously, high school dances and bas­ket­ball games were held in the base­ment of the old Opera House, which closed after a fire in 1927, and also in the Memo­rial Hall, which was con­structed on the same site and foun­da­tion, in 1932. Ad­di­tion­ally, the new gym­na­sium was used by com­mu­nity and church groups who spon­sored bas­ket­ball teams, as well as box­ing and wrestling ex­hi­bi­tion matches. Even the BYU bas­ket­ball teams held some of their home games, un­til com­ple­tion of the Smith Field­house on the BYU cam­pus in 1951.

Sub­mit­ted by M. Lee Tay­lor

The orig­i­nal Springville High School build­ing, com­pleted in 1909.

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