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SOUTH DEERFIELD HIGH SCHOOL BUILDING DEDICATED WITH EXCELLENT PROGRAM

Splendid Structure Is Inspected by Citizens, Who Greatly Admire It

South Deerfield, Nov. 21-The new Deerfield High School building which was dedicated last evening is an imposing structure situated on the west side of Main street in the vicinity of the Bloody Brook massacre and is believed to be the first public high school building built and supported exclusively by the citizens of Deerfield. The sum of $155,000 was voted about a year ago by the citizens of the town for the purchase of the site, erection of the building and general furnishings and equipment. The lot purchased compromises about 14 acres of practically level land. The building sets back 150 feet from the street and the exterior is constructed of texture brick, cast-stone trimmings and slate roof. The building is rectangular in shape, being 112 feet by 98 feet 11 inches and is two stories high. The U type was used with corridor running from the front entrance to the rear, thus giving four exits. All interior walls are of masonry so that fire will be confined to the section where it starts. The woodwork is of southern hard pine, with oak finish, finished in Richardson oil polish.

The first floor contains three classrooms for 40 pupils each, two recitation rooms for 25 pupils each, principal's office and supply room, library and board room, women teachers' room, also a room for school physician. On the second floor are two classrooms for 40 pupils each, two recitation rooms accommodating 24 pupils each, two rooms for the commercial department, combination chemical and physical laboratory, with lecture and supply rooms with dark and lantern equipment. On the ground floor are located the cooking school, with cabinets, pantries, and all modern apparatus necessary, laboratory for agriculture and biology, boiler and fuel rooms, a gymnasium and assembly room 35 by 62 with stage 14 by 35 feet, showers and lockers adjoining. Indirect lighting is used in all the rooms throughout the building and the interior decorations are most attractive. The Peerless ventilating and heating unit is used. Bubblers to supply drinking water are stationed at various places throughout the building. A master clock on the wall in the principal's room regulates the bells in the various classrooms. A fire alarm has been installed in the main corridor on the first floor, the building committee having carried out to the minutest detail everything for the welfare of the school.

The laying out and surfacing proper ball fields and tennis courts on the campus is begun. The building committee in charge consisted of Walter F. Gorey, chairman, Judge Philip Ball, and Edward A. Rice. Clarence P. Hoyt of Boston is the architect. George H. Reed and company of Montague City were the general contractors, and George V. Corsiglia of Greenfield, installed the heating and plumbing systems. The school has been in session in the building during the fall, and there is an enrolment of 70 pupils, 46 of whom are freshmen. Three one-act plays are to be given in the gymnasium next Tuesday evening by students of the school. The High school faculty includes Principal Alan W. Furber, mathematics; Assistant Principal E. J. LaFranie, science; Miss Charlotte Hamilton, English; Miss Marion E. Hulbert, history and biology; Miss Georgia I. Miller, commercial subjects, and Miss Mildred A. Weeks, Romance languages.

A large number of townspeople and visitors availed themselves of the opportunity to inspect the building, which was thrown open to the guests at 7.30 p.m., the approach having been made most attractive by additional electric lights on the campus. Students were at the doors to receive the guests and conduct them on the tour of inspection. The various teachers were in their rooms ready to answer any questions relative to the school and its work. The exercises were held in the gymnasium, the stage having decorations of palms.

Walter F. Gorey, chairman of the building committee, made the following remarks:

"Ladies and Gentlemen: It is a pleasant duty that I have to perform here tonight in welcoming you to the exercises in honor of the opening of this building dedicated to the cause of education. Everyone present here must rejoice at the completion of this beautiful structure that will mean so much in shaping the minds and careers of the younger generation. The public spirit manifested by our cit-citizens[sic] when required to build so quickly in order to conform to the requirements of the state is sufficient evidence of the enlightened feeling of civic responsibility that characterizes our community. The architectural beauty of this structure will have a powerful influence upon the pupils which it shelters, and its arrangements for convenience, comfort and health, with its modern equipment, give assurance that the work of teachers and pupils alike will be done under the best conditions. For what does this school stand? It is the emblem of our civilization, and stands for education which is preparation for complete living, and complete living consists in earning a livelihood honestly and intelligently, in performing one's duty to society and in making wise use of one's leisure time.

"In behalf of the building committee, I will simply state that we have fulfilled to the best of our ability the trust imposed upon us by the town and now will present the key of this your High school building to the school committee of the town of Deerfield."

James Campbell, chairman of the committee, accepted the keys with a few remarks. The address of the evening was given by Principal Roy L. Smith of North Adams Normal school, who spoke as follows:

"Our meeting tonight is typically American. Our first glimpses of American life reveal an attitude toward school and education, which is unique in the world's history. Nations, successively contribute great ideals toward a developing civilization. The Ancient Hebrews gave us religion, the Greeks beauty and philosophy, the Romans law and justice. Education and democracy are Americantributions. In writing the Declation[sic] of Independence our forefathers spoke of the equal rights of men, the right to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Education has given us the larger liberty, happiness and freedom. At the base of this wonderful progress, which is wrapped up in the word America we find our wonderful system of free public education. This building which we dedicate tonight has its great message for us a we look about it and take note of its material and construction and equipment brought from here and there near and far. They speak to us for the learning for which this building is intended contributed throughout the past and from infinite sources. As we stand and gaze at the walls it seems to us that it is built brick upon brick, symbolizing how each individual rises from life given by another, but if we look carefully we shall see that it is not brick upon brick, but each one rests upon two, and these in turn upon three and so on to the foundation.

"So it is, with our lives; we are supported by all that has gone before. But there is more than brick in the construction of the building, and the mortar and cement which hold the brick and make one building of the whole symbolize the earnest and sacred idea of education that is necessary to make a real school. So it is with us, the organization and perfection of individual lives will find opportunity for future growth.

At the close of the exercises, refreshments were served by the students.

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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In 1858, the town of Deerfield, Massachusetts, was forced by the state to provide free high school education for all its young residents. Prior to that, a person who wanted a high school education only had the Deerfield Academy, a private, tuition-charging institution, to go to. Although some scholarships were available, for most young people there was no free education past elementary school. The town was not able to raise the money for a totally new school, and as a result they joined with the Deerfield Academy and created a joint high school with it. That existed, a bit uneasily, from 1858 to 1875. That year, a bequest by a rich donor funded the Dickinson School, Deerfield's own high school, which was taught by Deerfield Academy teachers but mainly funded by the town. In 1917, the state demanded complete separation from private schools, a process that had to be completed by 1923. A buyout purchased the school from the Academy, and the new high school building was then built using town funds.

 

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"South Deerfield- High School Building Dedicated With Excellent Program"

publisher   Hampshire Gazette
publisher   Turners Falls Reporter
date   1924
location   South Deerfield, Massachusetts
width   2.25"
height   11.0"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
item type   Periodicals/Newspaper
accession #   #L02.075


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See Also...

"Prospectus of the Deerfield Academy and Dickinson High School"

"Annual Report of the Town Officers of Deerfield For the Year Ending Dec. 31, 1926- Annual Report of the School Committee"

Deerfield Academy/ Dickinson High School

"South Deerfield- South Deerfield to Have Conference on Health in Schools"


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