Stanton Building History
by: Carolyn Waters
This information was submitted by Carolyn Waters in November 2003. Mrs. Waters serves on the Hereford ISD School Board. We are very proud to have such dedicated Board Members!
Stanton building has served our community in many different capacities:
Hereford High School 1926 - 1954;
Stanton Jr. High 1954 - 1988;
PreK and Central Office Annex 1988-1993;
Stanton Learning Center 1988 - present.
In 1947, Hereford Rural High School District was organized, as was Herefords first junior high. Hereford Junior High was opened at mid-term of the 1946-47 school year. The classes were held in barracks that had been moved from the local Prisoner of War Camp and placed where the present Stanton gym is located. The barracks were placed end to end in two rows running east to west, with an approximate 16 foot concrete walk which served as a hallway between the two rows of buildings.
H.V. Stanton, who had been a teacher and football coach at Hereford High School, was the first principal of the new junior high. Stanton continued coaching whileserving as principal until 1949, when he became full-time principal. He served in this capacity until his death in the spring of 1954, shortly after the new high school building was opened and the junior high students had moved into the present Stanton building. The building was re-named in Stanton’s honor.
By the mid-twenties, many of the county schools were closing with most of the students transferring to Hereford, thus causing the need for more classrooms. During this time and later in the mid-forties, many transfers were denied due to lack of space. Teachers salaries ranged from $100 to $ 140 per month in 1926.
In 1925, a bond issue in the amount of $128,000 was approved for the construction of a new high school building. At that time, due to increased enrollment, high school classes were being held in the college building which the district had purchased in 1916. The bond was for 40 years at 5%. Election was held on May 12, 1925, for the purpose of equipping (sic) a free school building of brick, stone and concrete material. The vote passed 274-42. Five and one-half acres of land was purchased at the present location Park Avenue and Avenue F. Bids were submitted for clearing the land of a dwelling, barn, coal house, wash house and fencing. A bid for $5000 was accepted. Board members at the time were E.S. Ireland, President: C.O. Lee, H. G. Conkwright, J.T. Gilbreath, J.O. Newell, J.W. Houston and E.B. Posey, Secretary. C.H. Dillehay was superintendent.
The contract price for the building: $102,060.00; furniture and equipment-$6,245.22; stage scenery and equipment-$900.00; extra border lights-$23.00; window screens-$1000.00; cork for 25 blackboards-$100.00; earthquake insurance-$9.37; 42 extra window lights -$15.75;
The auditorium could be used for community activities at the rate of $25.00 minimum charge, plus 25% of all receipts above $100.00 for plays, concerts, etc. The gym was for school activities only.
The Hereford High School band was one of the first to be organized in the area and the only one outside Amarillo to participate in the Amarillo Music Festival in 1926. Music and athletics have always been an integral part of the school system. The 1925-1926 year might well be considered the beginning of the full sports program for the district. The first team bus was purchased in August, 1927, at the cost of $1150.00. Whiteface Field was constructed, where the present practice gyms are located, in 1930.
The magnificent red brick building that was occupied in 1926, served as a high school until the present high school was completed in 1954 and opened at mid-term of the 1954-55 school year. The original three-story portion of the building was vacated by the high school students on the last day of school before Christmas vacation when the students carried their books and supplies to the new building. The junior high students moved from the barracks into the old high school which became the new junior high.
During the 1969-70 school year, science and athletics facilities were added at Stanton and potable buildings were moved on the location for classroom use.
In 1988, the two junior high schools were combined, with the junior high to be located at the La Plata Junior High building, which was constructed in 1966. The Stanton campus was used for Pre-K classes and as a Central Office Annex from 1988 until 1993 when it once again was used for classrooms and became Stanton Learning Center. With few exceptions, the entire building is in use.
If this building could share
its experiences and secrets, there would be volumes of tales to be told and
heard. Through its continued years of service, it has seen laughter and tears
of both joy and sorrow. It was built when President Calvin Coolidge was in
office, on the eve of the Great Depression, and when Governor Miriam Ferguson
was serving her first term. It has seen many of her students and teachers go
Stanton, as a high school, a junior high and presently as a learning center has seen two, three, four, five generations enter and leave her doors; has seen her auditorium filled for concerts, plays, musicals and gradations; and her gym have known the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Her classrooms have known thousands of students who have entered many avenues of life with many returning, or staying, to serve the school and community.
These events, plus many others too numerous to mention, have made, and continue to make, an everlasting impression on all who have been a part of these adventures. Stanton has seen a town grow, school enrollment increase, decline and increase again and it still stands as a guardian of education. The 1926 graduating class fondly said, We cannot help but get inspiration from this beautiful building. perhaps this inspiration shall live for generations to come.