A HIGH SCHOOL STORY
Bits and Pieces of how Hamilton got its new High School building in the mid-50's and added over 50 years of character to its youth.
PART 1 - CONCEPT
The City of Hamilton had historically held that certain values were essential to its identify. Excellence in education was a viable part of its soul. This value was was expressed time and time again by its citizens. One example, brought to mind recently with the rededication of the auditorium, was Mary Safford whose way of thinking was shared by many of the city's citizens. Excellence in education, true or perceived, was essential, and a strong feeling of being was expressed by the Red and Black of the Hamilton Cardinals. This basic value was being put to test in the mid twentieth century.
School District 316 was considering the construction of a combined high school in the country between Hamilton and Warsaw that would require both towns' students to be bussed and combined into a conglomerate. This was truly a disheartening and unworkable band-aide attempt to meet the education needs of Hamilton's youth.
On April 13, 1953, Dr. Wait, (the town's dentist) presented a resolution which was accepted, and on June 6, 1953 Hamilton (800 votes) chose to leave District 316. Riverside left also. Dorris Wells was one of the special election judges. On August 4, 1953, "Doc" Wait was elected first President of the school board of Community Consolidated District 328 . An outstanding assortment of townsmen accepted their positions on the new school board. John M. Wells was elected for the short term seat, serving until March 30, 1954. This board of eight citizens created an infrastructure that would contribute to the values that the city desired for the education of its youth. On Nov. 12, 1954, ground breaking ceremonies were held and on Apr. 22, 1956 a triumphant dedication ceremony was held. (Contains extracts from EF's 5-year diary).
These photos show the newly elected school board and several faculty members reviewing drawings of the new school that were presented by the architects. We find Morrison Burns to the left of Dr. Wait (lower left corner in photo above), and Coach Noah Hickman is to the Dr.'s right, under the shade trees in the Dr.'s side yard.
BOARD OF EDUCATION
Dr. M. B. Wait, Pres.
Mr. Roy Grout, Sec.
Mr. Ralph Holtsclaw
Mr. Lloyd Horton
Mr. Glenn Price
Mr. Hugo Jacquot
Mr. Harold Casley
Mr. James Goodrich, Supt.
First public preview of various classroom layout options. Location of this presentation was in the old high school gym.
George Mosena, Myron Schneider, and Neil Hardy show their excitement of the progress being made.
One of a number of proposed floor plans showing access off the south end of the old gym.
The architects at their Kansas City office.
New High School page 2
New High School page 3
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