Skip to main content

Central School to Chehalem Cultural Center: Part Four

By Barbara Doyle

This is part four of a multi-part series on the history of Central School, look for new installments in the weeks to come! Installments in this series are adapted from Barbara Doyle's book on this topic: From Then 'till Now: Schooling in Newberg, Oregon.



Part 4 - A New Building

The 1932-33 school year began just like the previous one – short on cash,  struggling financially in the Great Depression.  But the long view was more promising.

In early 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected president and his new Democratic government promised financial help. Newberg went for a $50,000 project – a new grade school – with residents taking on $35,000 bonded indebtedness and the federal government providing a $15,000 grant. The least costly plan was to build right on the existing site. The project moved forward – slowly.

Thursday, January 24, 1935 was the last day of classes in the old school that dated back to 1889. Subsequently, classes were held in churches, the library, the high school and a reopened Harding School. The old Central School was razed in twenty-seven days. Then inclement weather in March delayed construction.

Central School, c. 1936-38. 
Courtesy of Janice Van Fleet and Lorene Nissen
The new school, one story with a basement, was built with unreinforced hollow clay tiles and exterior brick veneer. It would not burn down. The front doors opened on September 23, 1935. Students continued to follow the Platoon System while they enjoyed space for extra-curricular activities.



After World War Two [1941-1945], student population continued to grow. The national Baby Boom hit Newberg, so did the national push to consolidate the remaining ungraded country schools. Two such school districts in close-by northern Marion County were merged with Newberg School District. To discourage out-of-Newberg District students from attending, annual tuition was raised to $350.

By mid-to-late 1950s, Central School was suffering from many deficiencies. Those classrooms that were carved out of the basement were no longer allowed.  The problem was the definition of ‘basement’.  Central’s basement ceiling was more than five feet above the surrounding ground level. Therefore, it was no longer the basement; it had become the first floor and then those classrooms were acceptable.

Fifth and final version of Central school, c. 2003-4 Courtesy of Chehalem Park and Recreation District
In addition, the front entrance was removed and remodeled into classrooms,  the new entrance was hard to find, one-story wings with classrooms and bathrooms were added on the south side of the building. All of this work was accomplished during the summer of 1958.


The site was ‘maxed out’. At slightly more than three acres, it was less than half of the required land for an elementary school.  Surrounded by private residences, the site could not be enlarged. Therefore, no more additions could be added to the building.

Read the rest of the story!

Have you enjoyed these stories? Contact us about becoming a member!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Chapters or the Morris, Miles, and Company Building

The Morris, Miles and Co. building, erected in 1891, was the first commercial brick building in Newberg. At that time, Newberg had been an officially incorporated town for only two years. In this year, the fledgling Pacific Friends Academy added their college arm (later named George Fox University).Several businesses existed in the downtown and the Quaker settlement that had begun to take root was begining to flourish. The Morris, Miles and Co. drygoods and groceries business struggled financially and changed ownership several times thru the early 1900s. They sold a variety of materials, advertising their products in the Newberg Graphic. After Moris, Miles, and Co closed, Larkin-Prince managed a hardware store there for at least ten years thru the 1910s. Parker Hardware followed in the 1920s. There were times when the building was vacant and other times when it was divided into two separate stores. Then in 1944, Rolla Renne left his position as Superintendent of Newberg School

The Newberg Friendly Club

By Rachel Thomas A mysterious box full of letters was recently donated to the Newberg Area Historical Society. Upon opening, we discovered that it was the correspondence of an organization called the "Friendly Club." With such a name, we at first assumed it must be part of the local Friends Church, but to our surprise, it was actually a separate organization, unrelated to the Quakers. The Friendly Club, which ran from 1919-1960's, was a women's social club devoted to building strong friendships and building community among the women of Newberg. While engaging in charitable work.  Their club poem, below, showed their values and interests: Friendly Club, by Phoebe Damewood Hill          F-      Is for friendly, a magic word                     It's golden chains your heart will gird.          R-     Is for royal, the banner we bear                     Willing each other's problems to share.          I-        Is for ideals, for which we stand                   

Evangeline Martin and Amanda Woodward

Author: Rachel Thomas In 1910, Newbergers became familiar with the sounds of a horse and buggy clip clopping down the streets, stopping at each home and business. In the  buggy, pulled by a faithful horse named Kit, sat Amanda Woodward and Evangeline Martin.  Amanda Woodward and Evangeline Martin in buggy , courtesy of the George Fox University Archives. Amanda Woodward was married to Ezra Woodward, the editor of the Newberg Graphic. The couple owned the paper, and lived in a beautiful Queen Anne Victorian on River street (now the Health and Counseling center at George Fox University). The couple moved to Oregon in 1880 in response to William Hobson's call to form a Quaker community in the valley. They were devoted supporters of the community and were active participants in Newberg social movements. Ezra Woodward was on the board of trustees for Pacific College ( George Fox University ), and their two children, Sibyl and Walter attended the college.  Evangeline Martin w

Past Mayors of Newberg

A list of the past mayors of Newberg, Oregon from its founding to present day.  1. Morris, Francis A. April 8, 1889- 1890 2. Williams, George W. 1891 3. McConnel, G. W. 1892 - 93 4. Votaw, Moses 1894 5. Emrey, Omar C. 1895 - 96 6. Littlefield, H. J. 1897 - 98 7. Headley, J. G. 1899 - 1900 8. Edwards, C. J. 1901 ~ Resigned July 1901 9. Parker, L. M. 1901 10. Christenson, N. C. 1902 11. Littlefield, H. J. 1903 12. Parker, L. M. 1904 13. Edwards, C. J. 1905 14. Pinney, 1906 ~ Resigned May 1906 15. Morris, H. R. 1906 16. Edwards, C. J. 1907 17. Harrold, 1908 18. Edw

Central School to Chehalem Cultural Center: Part Three

By Barbara Doyle This is part three of a multi-part series on the history of Central School, look for new installments in the weeks to come! This and future installments in this series are adapted from Barbara Doyle's book on this topic: From Then 'till Now: Schooling in Newberg, Oregon. Part One Part Two Part Four Part Five Part Six Part Seven Part Three – Good Times to Hard Times The new building had space for the principal’s office, a library and high school grades 9-11. The large basement could be used for recess time activities. The furnace wasn’t capable of heating sixteen rooms and long hallways; it was replaced. But some first and second graders still had classes in three separate rooms at the Creamery. Newberg experienced tremendous growth in the first decade of the 20th century. Perhaps the newcomers brought new ideas – high school, library, City Hall, bridge across the Willamette River, commuter train service to Portland. The three buildings were constructed