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Nesquehoning High School
by Denny Creitz

 

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     As we enter a new century so does the Nesquehoning High School. Some people thought the High School was beyond repair and its fate was to be a wrecking ball or dynamite.

     The building was made into an apartment building for senior citizens. There are thirty apartments and a large community room for activities. The Valley National Properties, LLC, the manager, intends to place the building on the National Register of Historic Places.

     Now that we know the school will have a future lets look at its past. When first proposed in 1914 most people agreed we needed a new school, but until it was finally dedicated in 1919 there were many disputes and the site changed numerous times. The LC&N had the first attempt blocked by legal action saying the School Board acted illegally. Then citizens protested, sometimes violently, about building the school because our Country was in the midst of a Word War.

     In the early 1900’s the coal industry was booming and so was Nesquehoning’s population. Families in those days were very large; eight, ten and even more children in a family were not uncommon. When school opened Sept. 1907 there were 733 children enrolled. The largest number of students in one room was 74. In 1909 an eight-room addition was added to the front of the East End School building. In the teens the overcrowding forced the school board to rent rooms in various buildings in town. The fifth grade class was held in shoemaker Dino’s basement, Bill Thomas taught industrial arts classes in Bill Branch’s store and other classes were held in the Nesquehoning Hose Co. #1.

     On November 6th 1914 The School Board had a discussion of various possible sites suitable for a new High School building, the Board resolved itself into a committee to interview the owners of the different properties suggested and report at some future time.

     On November 19th 1914 a meeting of citizens and the School Board was held with reference to a site for the proposed new high school building. The board had several sites in view and desired the opinion of the citizens as to the most desirable site. After much discussion it was left to the discretion of the school board. Seven sites in view were as follows: 1.Thomas Smitham, Sr. and Mrs. Samuel Hancock, five lots. 2. Patrick Callen, house and two lots. 3. John Scott, Hugh Riley and George Ronemus, three houses and three lots. 4. Mrs. Sarah James and James McArdle, three lots. 5. Smith estate, three lots. 6. Mrs. Maggie Campbell and William Lewis, two houses and three lots. 7. Mrs. Elizabeth Meese and John S. Lemon, house and four lots.

     On December 9th the Board voted on the selection of the site for the new school. Two proposed sites were up for consideration. One consisted of four properties adjoing each other on the south of Main St., owned by George Ronemus, Hugh Riley, John Scott and George Watson. Directors Ronemus and Granger voted for this site. The second site, and the one selected consisted of two properties, each 80 feet wide, on the north side of Main St., east of Ratcliffe, and known as the John Lamon and Mrs. Thomas Meese properties. Directors Maurer, Emanuel and Steventon voted for this site and a committee was appointed to negotiate for its purchase unless the price is to high.

     At a meeting on March 3rd 1915 a gentleman representing the architect, Clyde S. Adams submitted tentative sketches for the new building. The advantages and disadvantages of each were gone into. The plans as presented were taken under consideration and after study and consideration will be considered again at another meeting in the future, when it is expected that with such modifications as may be necessary they will be accepted and working plans and specifications prepared.

      At a meeting held on March 12th 1915 there was considerable opposition to the action of the school board in deciding to build the new high school building in the lower end of the town instead of the center. This opposition is based on the fact that the site is between two railroads, the Central Railroad of New Jersey and the Eastern Penna. Railways Co. trolley, which will make it hazardous for pupils attending the school. Convenience is another reason for protest to the new site. A Nesquehoning citizen went to Mauch Chunk consulting a lawyer. He proposes to enjoin the board if possible, from building where they have decided upon.

     April 3rd 1915– The new site, selected and purchased by the school board, upon which it intends to erect a modern High School building, apparently meets with the approbation of our citizens, as no protesting voice or action has been heard of, or made. Eight lots below the McGeehan property in the East End have been purchased for this purpose, the price per lot, it is said, being $1,500. The trolley tracks at this point will be shifted south to the level of the proposed new state highway. When completed and in operation this modern high school will afford many advantages to its pupils heretofore denied them. Anyhow, it will provide healthful exercise for pupils living in the extreme western portion of town.

     March 24th 1915 – The site for Nesquehoning’s new high school building, which has already been selected about three times, will not stay selected. The school board has another new spot under consideration. It adjoins the Zaengle farm at the east end of town and the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Co., its owner, is offering it to the town at a very nominal price. Some say it is $2,000.

     July 1st 1915 – A meeting of the School Board was held with the following members present: President S. E. Emanuel, Secretary W. H. Maurer, Morris Grainger and Ed Ronemus. Two plans showing elevation of the ground to the lot in the Eastern end of town, now owned by the LC&N Co. were presented and examined. After an informal discussion a motion was made by Ronemus and Maurer that the ground be purchased as the site for the proposed new high school. This plan gives the Board a wider lot, though it makes necessary the erection of a retaining wall along one side of the lot. The price of the lot is $2,500. The cost of the necessary retaining wall is estimated at an amount varying from $600 to $1,000. The vote on motion follows: Ayes, Ronemus, Maurer and Emanuel; No, Grainger.

     July 31st 1915 – Messer’s. Warriner and Suenders went over the plans of the new schoolhouse with the board and architect. Mr. Adams will revise the plans to bring the price down to near the figure set on. After he revises the plans they will be submitted again for examination.

     Contractor Breslin was present at a school board meeting on August 9th l916 and stated he was ready to begin work on the new High School building as soon as he had his lines and grades from the company. The secretary was instructed to get into touch with Mr. Miller of Mauch Chunk, the real estate agent of the LC&N Co.

     September 9th 1916 – The regular meeting of the School Board was held at 6 o’clock with vice president Cox in the chair. Other members present were Directors Ronemus, Steventon and Emanuel. Director Norwood was on the sick list and could not be present. The architect, Mr. Adams, of Philadelphia and Mr. John Breslin represented the contractor were present. The matter of the location of the new high school building on the lot at the East end of town was discussed. On motion of directors Ronemus and Emanuel the building was ordered placed far enough west on the lot to enable the construction of the building to proceed without interference with the trolley line. The next morning the architect, the contractor’s representative and the engineers conferred on the grounds and staked out the building coming to the building line on the South and on the West.

     On September 14th 1916 a headline in the Mauch Chunk Times read: L.C. & N. OPPOSES NEW BUILDING AT NESQUEHONING AND NOTIFIES STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION.

In a letter written to the Commonwealth of Pa, State Board of Education the LC&N claimed that additional school facilities were needed; a bond issue was voted for a $60,000 building. No advertisement was put in for competitive plans, but Mr. Clyde Adams, of Philadelphia was engaged to draw up plans.

      He submitted plans that were very objectionable, both from cost and design. These plans were revised several times. On the last set of plans that were sent in to us for examination, Mr. J. B. Warriner, Chief Engineer of our Company, raised objections to the building being constructed, on account of certain defects; a few of which are, as follows:

     Plaster was to be applied directly on the walls without furring or damp proofing.

     Shower and toilet arrangement in the basement were objectionable, cloak rooms inconvenient and subject to crowding. Lighting arrangement in the basement and stairways very poor. The boilers specified were unsatisfactory and were so arranged as to make the cost of maintenance and operation very high. The construction specified was of a class that would rapidly deteriorate and the basement would be damp and unhealthy.

     No attention was paid to those criticisms by the School Board of Nesquehoning and bids were asked for and were so high that they were all thrown out, and the architect was asked to revise the plans, and specifications so that a building could be constructed for a lower figure.

     In going over the modified plans and specifications, it is shown that the best features of the original plan have been eliminated. Stone panels, coping and other exterior decorative stonework have been omitted and brick substituted, while the roof has been lowered, causing the architectural effect of the building to largely ruined. Steel columns and beams throughout are omitted and inferior construction of doubtful strength substituted. Dumbwaiter and other convenient details are omitted an also stock and storage rooms. No gallery is specified for the Assembly Room, thus cutting the seating capacity below requirements. The walls of the basement rooms are unplastered. The corridors are no longer as fire proof as they were, as wooden floors have been substituted in the cloak rooms that are at each end of each corridor. The stairways are darkened by the omission of windows and are neither smoke or panic proof. All blackboards are omitted and the heating and ventilating ducts are of cheap metal lath construction of comparatively short life. All wall painting and decorating is omitted. Cheap rift-sawed pine floors are substituted throughout the building; even these are not covered by and definite specifications. Finishing coat for concrete floors in corridors is omitted. Specifications are very loosely drawn, indefinite and not binding on the contractors.

     The building is laid out for twenty one large rooms for teachers and pupils, of these only five rooms in the basement with unplastered walls are finished, and one class and one study room on the remaining floors. The other rooms are left entirely unfinished and are blocked off for the present by unsightly wooden partitions in the corridors. Superintendents and Boardrooms are however finished, in other words almost the entire first and second floors are erected only for the convenience of small board and Superintendent’s Rooms. The Assembly room is left entirely unfinished and presumably will be unfinished.

     The position of the LC&N Co., as the taxpayer, who is assessed about 75 per cent of all the taxes in this school district is that they will be glad to have sufficient schools to accommodate all the scholars that can receive their education in the town where the employees of the Company live. They feel, however that this money should be wisely expended and they believe that any impartial investigation into the plans and specifications that have been accepted by the school board at Nesquehoning will show that thee is an entire absence of any wisdom or good judgment and that the building as designed will simply lead to endless expenditures in the future. We feel that this is a matter that the taxpayers should be protected in and we appeal to the State Board of Education and ask them to investigate the matter and see if there is not some way by which the taxpayers money can be expended intelligently for educational purposes and not wastefully and extravagantly as is being done in this case. We have more complete data here in the office of detailed criticisms of the plans and specifications, which we will be glad to show to any representative that you may send here to investigate. Would appreciate your taking some action in the matter for the protection of the taxpayers. Yours very truly, E. Ludlow, Vice President.

     On September 15th the LC&N Co. filed a bill of equity against the School Board in a step to prevent the directors from going on with the erection of the new high school building. The complainant alleges the plans and specifications were not submitted to the State board of education for approval. That the specifications did not contain a time limit thus making them non-competitive. To erect, complete and equip the said new high school building, as the same has been designed and planned by the architect, will increase the indebtedness of said School District to an amount in excess of two per cent of the assessed valuation of the said District, notwithstanding which the Board of School Directors of said District has failed and neglected to submit to the electors the question of whether or not such indebtedness shall be created and incurred. The high school building as planned and designed is insufficient and injurious to the best interests of the taxpayers, patrons and school children of said School District in that the same is not of fire proof or semi fire proof construction, that the lighting of certain areaways is insufficient, that certain walls of the building are not damp proof, and that said plans are for an uncompleted building, and one not suited to the needs of the District. Your Honor, therefore, being with out adequate remedy at law and needing equitable relief, prays: 1st – That the contract entered into with the said Andrew Breslin for the construction of said high school building, and the contract entered into with the American Heating and Ventilating Co. for the equipment of said building with heating and ventilating apparatus, and all other contracts entered into for or on account of the same be declared null, and void and of no effect. 2nd – That an injunction be issued preliminary until hearing and perpetual thereafter, restraining and enjoining the said School District, the several members and officers of its Board of Directors, the said Clyde S. Adams, Andrew Breslin and the American Heating and Ventilating Co. from proceeding with the erection and construction in connection therewith, and from all payments of moneys on account thereof.

     On November 8th 1916 the board decided to find another site for the new high school building.

     The following appeared in the newspaper February 5th 1917: The Board of School Directors will meet on Wednesday evening, Feb. 14,1917 at 6:30 o’clock in the East End Building at Nesquehoning to meet any architects who wish to present at this meeting plans and sketches for a new High School Building to be of brick, two and one half stories, and a semi fire proof construction. (An estimate will also be requested on the same structure in fireproof construction.) The number of rooms and other requirement of the new building may be had by applying at the office of the Supervising Principal. Architects will be expected to give the approximate cost of the building according to plans submitted by them.

     On April 3rd 1917 the School Board received a refund from the LC&N Co. for the land where the school was to be built. The school board decided to find another location.

     The architect, Mr. John T. Simpson, of Newark N.J. was present and presented detailed plans and specifications for the new High School building. On motion of directors Norwood and Steventon, Mr. Simpson was authorized to file with the State Architect for his approval. It was decided to advertise for bids for the new building to be received on April 23 at 4:30 p.m.

      When the School Board met on April 24th they at once went into executive session and considered the various bids in detail. After several hours consideration and discussion the various bidders who stayed over were invited in and the following action was taken. On motion of directors Steventon and Ronemus the general contract was awarded to Mr. Andrew Breslin, of Summit Hill in the amount of $68,578, the Board retaining the right to accept or reject several alternates. On motion of directors Steventon and Ronemus the plumbing contract was awarded to E.R.Shollenberger, of Hamburg, in the amount of $7,550, directors Cox, Ronemus and Steventon voting aye, directors Emanuel and Norwood voting no. On motion of directors Steventon and Ronemus the heating contract was awarded to the American Heating and Ventilating Company in the amount of $10,349, all directors voting in favor. The electrical contract was awarded to Alfred Sommers, of Newark N.J., in the amount of $5,878.

     On Saturday afternoon previous the house on the Patrick Callen lot where the new high school building is to be located was sold at public auction to Mr. William Bechtel for the amount of $152.

     At a school board meeting held on May 10th bids were opened for the construction of the new high school building. They were as follows; United Fire Proof Building Co. New York, $107,000; Danby, Tamaqua, $98,000; Andrew Breslin, Summit Hill, $94,000; Shamokin Lumber Co. $88,000. Several members suggested deferring the construction of the new High School on account of the present high cost of material and unsettled conditions caused by the war.

     On May 18th the board went over the necessary expenses of the new school building and on motion of Directors Steventon and Ronemus , it was decided to fix the tax rate for the next year at 12.8 mills. On motion of Directors Norwood and Ronemus the contract for the new high school was awarded to Shamokin Lumber and Manufacturing Co. The price for which it was awarded was $77,026. It was proposed that ground would be broken on Monday May 21st.

     May 29th – Teams for the Shamokin Lumber Co., which has the contract to erect the new high school have arrived here and work on excavation will be commenced at once.

     WHO WILL TEAR DOWN THE MONUMENT OF THE SOLDIER AT NESQUEHONING, was the head line of an article on the front page of the Mauch Chunk Daily Times on April 31st. Editor Times: According to authentic reports Nesquehoning, at the present time has fifty vacant houses and consequently a decreased population. These conditions, supplemented with the uncertain conditions and hardships of warfare and a scarcity of labor through the entire country cause men to be of an unsettled frame of mind in regards to permanent residence not to mention other conditions that may yet develop of vital importance to the taxpayers of Nesquehoning.

     Would it not therefore be a proper sensible economical and patriotic act on the part of the school authorities to hold in abeyance the contract to proceed with the erection of the new high school building until the conclusion of the War?

     Knowing these facts to be the sentiments of the taxpayers and as a property owner I use them as my authority to make this public request. Is the interest of the taxpayers who will be forced to bear this additional burden not to be considered or is the hand of authority going to rule without regard to the people’s circumstances at this time?

     I would also make another request in the name of humanity, and appeal to every man of Nesquehoning having a family of his own or a spark of patriotism in his heart by drawing his attention to a few pointed facts. The men of Nesquehoning know that the late Patrick Callen served three years in the Civil War and while escaping the fatal results, served a long term in the clutches of the enemy in that hell hole called Andersonville prison and was brought home after the war a living skeleton, in such condition that it was necessary to carry him from the railroad station to his home, and there with tender care and the aid of a physician he was nursed back to health after which he could struggle for himself. He raised a large family and built a humble home that caused him another struggle to pay for. He served three years on the school board and helped to promote the school system we have at present, and after a life given to the uplift of humanity and to the credit of Nesquehoning he passed out of this life to receive his reward.

     And now it is intended to seize his property in accordance with law, but against the wishes of his family, to erect thereon this proposed new high school building. To those who will be guilty of turning into the street the children and grand children of the late Patrick Callen by tearing down the only monument left to his memory, his home, will be an unpardonable act and a disgrace to the history of Nesquehoning. A public school, if built, on the foundation of such a principle will be a mar to the education developed therein. Signed: A PROPERTY OWNER.

      On June 2nd another article appeared on the front page of the Daily Times. Editor Times: In an attempt to show the necessity for the new school building to be erected on the Callen property Thomas Cox, president of the School Board, demands that “Property Owner” show honest intention by signing his name. To which I might say that Mr. Cox is possibly hiding under the name of a well-known attorney who has been interested in erection of the building.

     Now for some concrete facts: There are 53 vacant houses in Nesquehoning at present averaging 2,000 population. The Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company has given notice that Little Italy will be moved from Mauch Chunk Township to Packer Township, causing another loss in population approximately 300. I admit that two years ago the taxpayers agreed to erection of a new school to relieve an overcrowded condition, but that condition has ceased to exist. Ample accommodation can be provided for the school children at a vast saving to the taxpayers if efficiency methods are introduced and political favoritism eliminated. The citizens noting the progress of the town two years ago realized greater room was necessary and looking to the future of the rising generation were willing to bear an additional burden.

     Now, however, with a loss in population there will be a consequent loss in taxes, which will make it absolutely necessary to add the burden upon the other property owners in proportion.

     Application of common sense at this time will avail to meet conditions. With living at its highest, with abnormal conditions resultant of the war and with the possibility staring us in the face that there will be a still greater loss in population, why cannot our School Board hold itself in check for the present and await the outcome of the war.

     We taxpayers are not responsible for evasion of duty on part of the School Board for the past two years, but had the Board gone ahead when consent was first given and not juggled matters until the “physiological moment arrived” the building would have been completed and our protest would have been laughed to scorn. The argument that failure to erect a new building would cause a loss in appropriation of between six and eight thousand dollars a year is only used to deceive. The State is demanding that we conserve our resources, economize in finances and eliminate all useless improvement in public buildings. Surely the State would not deny the appropriation when acquainted with conditions as they exist in Nesquehoning, Mr. Cox to the contrary notwithstanding.

     I am not actuated by animosity in making this protest, nor do I desire to interfere with the duties of the School Board, but in response to request of numerous taxpayers I am voicing a protest in the hope that the School Board will realize that the mistake being made and rectify it before proceeding farther. As citizens we are interested in our schools, as taxpayers we are interested in maximum results at minimum cost, but as a people we have a right to opinion even though it be contrary to the set opinion of the School Board.

     I have been informed by the Callen heirs that they protested the condemnation proceeding but since the Board seized the property they had nothing else to do but submit.

     However, the School Board has proved itself bigger than the citizens, which sought to convince them that it would be better to defer erection of the building until more settled condition would prevail. Signed: M. HARTNEADY

     Even though the citizens of Nesquehoning were against the building of a new school at the present time, construction continued.

     On November 20th 1917 The Shamokin Lumber Co. put on a double force of men at the new high school building in order to get the building under cover to permit work on the inside during the winter.

     The H.W. Mansville Co., Philadelphia had a force of men engaged in putting the roof on the new high school building on July 13th 1918.

      On March 26th 1919 the School Board met with representatives of all the fraternal and social organizations of the town and formed preliminary plans for the dedication of the new High School. This dedication will take place on May 30th. A great amount of enthusiasm was manifested, and every one present promised to bend every effort toward making the occasion one that will be remembered. An executive committee was appointed who have in charge all the details in connection with the dedication of the new high school. This committee consists of Harry Smith, Joe Gover, Timothy Boyle, Michael J. Mulligan, William Starosta, Evan Williams, Hugh McGorry, Moses Mustachio, John S. Ronemus, Michael Kordilla, and Paul Misick. An effort is being made to have Governor Sproul here at that time to make the address. Other notables of the State were mentioned and this matter was left in the hands of the Board.

     May 10th – All roads lead to Nesquehoning on Decoration Day, May 30th, as the new High School will be officially opened and dedicated with impressive ceremonies befitting this occasion. There will be a monster parade held which will include not only every organization in the good old town, but also neighboring towns will be represented. At present there is at least ten bands engaged. This is one of the most up to date high schools in the State and shows again the spirit of Our Board of Education in giving the boys and girls every faculty to lighten the burden of study and make the way easy for them to reach their station in the education at world. In connection with the day the Nesquehoning Hose Co. Band will have refreshments at the different corners at which place you can refresh yourselves and let the band have the benefit of your money which will be used to help pay for the new uniforms that the band has recently purchased. In the evening there will be a grand dance in Ferko’s Hall, at which prizes will be given. There will be the very latest jazz orchestra with plenty of rag music. There will also be a prize waltz so make no other plans for that evening, but join the crowd and attend the grand dance in Ferko’s Hall Friday May 30th. All proceeds will be to help the band.

     May 26th - Plans are completed for the dedication of the new high school building on Friday. Nesquehoning will be the mecca for thousands of visitors, the occasion being the dedication of its magnificent High School building, the finest and most elaborately equipped in Carbon County. In fact it compares with the best in the State.  The parade will start at 2 p.m. Thirteen bands are engaged and a hundred different societies will participate. It will be the biggest event in the history of the town. Every citizen is respectfully asked to clean up his surroundings this week in preparation for the dedication of the new high school also decorate your homes for the occasion. Many old time residents will be among the visitors. It will be a regular old home week commencing Friday, and many will remain for a week to exchange greetings. The Citizens Band of New Columbus, formerly the Little Italy Band will repeat the concert after the High School dedication of Friday, for which it was awarded a gold medal at Tamaqua on Saturday. The medal will be on exhibition during the concert for all who desire to see it. The medal was won in competition and was awarded entirely on the merits of the New Columbus Band, which plays fine concert music. The Hose Co. Band will run a grand dance in the evening at which all the latest dances will take place and there will be old time square dances with an old time promptor. John M. Callen has consented to take charge of the square dances, which means success. Edward Riley will have charge of the fox trots, waltzes and two steps. Refreshments will be served in the building. There will be eleven prizes awarded. A prize waltz will be the special feature. The hall will be decorated. Kauffman’s orchestra will furnish the music.

     May 30th 1919 – New High School was dedicated with inspiring patriotic demonstration at Nesquehoning, service men a feature. Intensely enthusiastic patriotism marked the dedication of the New High School at Nesquehoning.  Thousands of visitors were attracted. Every incoming trolley car was packed to the limit with visiting people and the trolley service proved inadequate to the occasion. Many were disappointed because of a lack of accommodations. Taxi’s helped out well in the emergency. Nesquehoning never before in its history held such crowds. It was the mecca for throngs from all parts of the county. The town was gaily decorated, waving flags and bunting bidding a mute but cordial welcome to the visitors. Refreshment stands here and there provided for the hungry and thirsty. No detail was lacking looking to the welcome and comfort of the strangers. Nesquehoning certainly did itself proud. It occasioned no surprise that their enterprise has resulted in the erection of the most colossal temple of education in the county. Great as was every other arrangement, the parade was the crowning achievement of the auspicious day, which was as perfect as was ever set for an epoch of such magnitude. It was a monster inspiring and picturesque demonstration. Lieutenant Russel Harvey was chief marshal. It was a feature parade throughout. Each society participating vied in originality. One of the touching spectacles was the service men from overseas and at home. Tears of joy filled the eyes of many at the sight of them. They were given an enthusiastic ovation. There was a large representation of them. Nesquehoning P.O.S. of A. turned out in force. It was represented by continental characters and a red school house float showing the contrast between the luxurious building of today and the comparatively primitive one of 50 years ago, an impressive object lesson to the youth of today as to his unlimited opportunities in comparison with the limited ones of his fore fathers. Nesquehoning’s schools made an exceptionally large and fine showing. Each grade was represented with a teacher in charge. They were attired in fantastic and ludicrous garb and carried original banners. Many May poles with countless streamers also featured. Nesquehoning High School Drill Corps gave a clever exhibition of intricate drilling that elicited rounds of applause. The Knights of Pythias and Pythian Sisters of Nesquehoning were an imposing feature of the parade, being largely represented. After the parade, the dedicatory exercises were held at the new high school building. The program opened with the rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” by the Lehighton Band. Supervising Principal R.O. Klotz was the chairman. He spoke on the educational progress of Nesquehoning in recent years, which justified the erection of the new high school building. A school was the center of community, the foundation of democracy, where no distinction was made to class or creed and which stood for and fostered one flag and one country. Ben Branch, Esq., in behalf of the P.O.S. of A. of Nesquehoning, presented a Bible and U. S. flags to the new school. In accepting the Bible Mr. Klotz said it would be daily read in the school. Sergeant Andrew Pancoe, a wounded marine and hero of Chateau Thierry, gave an edifying talk on his experience in the great world war conflict which was of absorbing interest. James J. Bevan, county superintendent of schools, was the next speaker, saying in part: The occasion we celebrate today is truly American. This splendid building of learning with its complete and modern equipment indicates more loudly than words the fundamental belief of the American people in education and their desire to provide such education for their children as shall be adequate for the demands of later life. Democracy and education are inseparable. The one cannot exist without the other. No ignorant democracy ever did nor ever will endure. Our American Republic has learned from its founders and forefathers that its welfare and security can be maintained only through the results and blessings of public education. Our free government provides the means whereby the opportunity for education shall be offered to all and our schools in turn are the means whereby the very life of the nation is maintained. The Great War was a mighty test of the work of the American public school and most nobly did the schools meet that test. It proved that the nation of people of every color and creed had been transformed into a nation of patriots that placed our flag above every other flag and its loyalty supreme. The American school must be extended and enlarged to meet the ever-growing demands for better education of the masses of our people. Learning must become universal in America. The chief business of the nation is the education of its childhood. Carbon County has nobly done its duty to its children at school. No other county of equal size and population can boast of better school buildings and more efficient schools. This fine building, the latest in our county, is in point of equipment for both physical and mental training, the most complete of them all. Our highest commendation is accorded to the progressive school board, its capable supervising principal and faculty and to the public-spirited people of this place for this addition to the school facilities of our county. Our future as a nation will be made secure through the educating and refining influence of our schools. Patriotic devotion to our country and loyalty to the flag will go hand in hand with the right training of our youth. Long may our schools endure to do their glorious work of educating our people, cherishing our institutions of free government, and exalting the American ideals of freedom, justice, equality and humanity.

            Nesquehoning’s new High School building is a handsome structure. It compares with those of large cities, surpasses any like building in Carbon County and is a monument to the enterprise of the board of directors who erected it. It is fire proof throughout. The only woodwork is that of doors, casings and frames which are finished in chestnut. The floors and hallways with a few exceptions in the schoolrooms are of terrazay, a substance similar to concrete, but of a finer nature. There is nothing of the useless ornamental about it yet it is beautiful and impressive in its simplicity and design. John T. Simpson, Newark, NJ, was the architect. It is imposing in its massiveness and amazing in the magnitude and completeness of its equipment. The graduate of the future will find every convenience and help in it to fit him or her for the more practical duties of life. Each room is properly ventilated exceptionally well lighted. This is a striking feature of the structure, which will certainly be conducive to eye ease. There are several side entrances and a main one in the front. This is on the order of a rotunda with artistic railing. The erection of the building was commenced in 1917 by the Shamokin Lumber and Mfg. Co., Contractors of Shamokin, Pa., but was delayed on account of war conditions, which held up material and increased its cost as well as that of labor, which was rendered scarce. Under the circumstances the work was done efficiently and satisfactorily, attesting the ability of the contractors to execute contracts on a big scale. The board of directors was composed of Albert Norwood, president; Samuel Emanuel, secretary; Thomas S. Coxe, vice president; E. R. Ronemus, treasurer and Harry J. Steventon and Milford McElmoyle. They have given the community an educational place that will redound to their eternal credit. The cost of the building is $134,000, but other expenses will increase its grand total to $150,000. It is built of gray tile brick and occupies a space of ground 74 feet 4 inches wide by 133 feet 6 ½ inches long. It is two and a half stories high. It has two basements, the sub-basement being occupied by the heating plant, manual training and mechanical drawing rooms. Hot air is furnished from an extensive heating plant on the order of a hot air furnace but of a more scientific nature. A large fan operated by an electric motor supplies the fresh air. Mechanical devices remove the ashes. Hugh McElmoyle is the competent janitor of the building. Sensitive and scientific devices maintain a uniform heat or the degree desired. The manual training room is equipped with lathes and all the necessary machinery of such a room, all operated by electrical power. In the basement proper is situated the gymnasium, domestic science and sewing rooms. The domestic science room is on the order of a colossal culinary department. It has every convenience and would excite the envy of the model housewife. Gas is furnished by an independent plant, but the building is piped for the day Nesquehoning will own its own gas plant which is not in the distant future. The “gym” is large and commodious. Its equipment is complete. This is really one of the impressive features of the building. It lacks nothing in detail. On the first floor are the directors’ room, supervising principals, auditorium and the various classrooms. The clocks are regulated by a master clock in the supervising principal’s room from which radiates telephones to every department of the school. R. O. Klotz is the capable supervising principal. The auditorium is large and airy and fascinating to the eye in its appointments and elaborateness. It is capable of seating 600 people in comfort. The parquet seats are sloped as are also those of the balcony. The curtains are operated by electricity and the foot lights are of the disappearing order. A moving picture booth is attached. On the second floor are the study hall, lecture room, laboratory, teacher’s rest room, recreation and commercial rooms, all being of the communicating or continuing order. Each pupil has an individual locker. The toilet rooms are of the best material and most modern equipment as well as of the standard hygienic order. Bathrooms with shower bath appliances are also a feature. The people of Nesquehoning can look with just pride upon their new High School building. They are to be envied, for they are in advance of their time in this educational achievement and triumph, which places them in the front rank of popular and modern education.

 

The following are pictures taken before the renovation of the High School. 

 

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Click on pictures to enlarge.

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THE AUDITORIUM

 

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HALLWAY

 

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LOCKER ROOM AND GIRLS SHOWER

 

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GYM

 

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CLASS ROOMS

 

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THESE ARE TWO EXAMPLES OF THE BLACKBOARDS WITH NAMES SCRATCHED IN THEM. MAYBE YOUR NAME IS ON ONE OF THEM!!!!

 

 

The following are pictures taken after the renovation of the High School. 

 

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Pictures taken at
 Grand Opening

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COMMUNITY ROOM AND APARTMENTS

 

 

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MOST OF THE GYM IS COVERED OVER WITH APARTMENTS, BUT A SMALL PART OF IT IS STILL THERE.  EVEN THOUGH THE GYM HAS BEEN SEALED IN, WE FOUND A WAY TO ENTER FROM THE BASEMENT.  WE FOUND AN OLD HALF INFLATED BASKETBALL IN WHERE THE  PARALLEL BARS AND HORSE WERE KEPT.  MIKE KURASH ,ON LEFT AND SAM CHODUR, ON RIGHT GET IN SOME OF THE LAST SHOTS IN THE NESQUEHONING HIGH SCHOOL GYM. 
 

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