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Mail Tribune 100, Feb. 13, 1920

The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago.

Feb. 13, 1920

MEDFORD’S NEED OF A NEW HIGH SCHOOL BUILDING

The following theme was written by Miss Jean Loomis of the high school in English ten:

Whenever people move from one place to another, almost their first question concerning their prospective home is the school — is it a good one, with modern improvements and the educational advantages it should have? The school question seems an especially important one to us at the present time, as so many outsiders are coming to the valley all with the same question concerning the schools.

Considering the size of Medford, our schools are exceedingly poor. Much smaller places have better buildings than we can boast of. All about us are excellent buildings used mostly for pleasure. Does it seem right that our institutions of learning should be so inferior?

The high school seems the worst, for the grade schools have superior buildings and are not so crowded. But at the present time in the high school, roll rooms have had to be made in nearly all of the available recitation rooms, the assembly is seating as many as possible — and there were more than twenty new freshmen that came over after the mid-year exams. Such a condition is serious and surely merits some purposeful discussion.

The high school has long been known as not large enough to accommodate all the pupils, but there are other, and just as serious, difficulties. The assembly is planned poorly, not alone in that it will not seat the pupils, but that confusion and noise are almost unavoidable. On its present plan, almost nothing could be done to remedy this.

The lighting thruout the building is not sufficient to the need, the heating is very poor. Many of the rooms are poorly ventilated. The condition of the building itself is unsafe, when classes are passing the whole structure shakes.

There is no gymnasium, and the Natatorium, where physical culture exercises are held, is always cold and often damp. Many complaints have come from this source. Also the school grounds are much too small, and the pupils have no place but the street.

One might continue for some time to enumerate faults and deficiencies, but the whole question simply resolves itself to this — are the citizens of Medford going to allow their schools to continue to be a disgrace to the community? Do they intend to let their boys and girls go thru school here without the facilities which even ordinary schools now consider necessary for their completion?

Education, as a prime factor in our country’s development, is growing of more importance every day, and it is in the nature of progress to make the schools in which young America is gaining its precious knowledge, the very best ever!

JEAN LOOMIS.

News from 100 years ago