This week Picturing the Past continues the history of Brevard schools through the mid-20th century. After the old 1908 schoolhouse was declared unsafe during the summer of 1936 all 536 elementary students were moved into the building originally constructed as the high school in 1919.
|Brevard Primary is today the offices of the|
Register of Deeds and Tax Administration.
The Works Progress Administration provided about 70% of the cost for a new primary grades school on the corner of Broad and Morgan Streets. The WPA also provided most of the labor. On March 14, 1938 240 students and six teachers moved into the new building. There was now room for 60 pupils per classroom in grades 1-3. For the next 10 years Brevard Elementary operated in the two buildings.
As the local economy and population continued to grow and the first of the generation that would become known as baby boomers reached school age the school system was again pushed to its limits.
|Brevard Elementary is the Community Services building|
with several county departments located in it today.
In 1946 a $310,000 school bond was passed for school improvements and additional facilities. $192,000 of the bond went to construct a third building for Brevard Elementary. The two-story, 11-room brick school for grades 6-8 opened in September 1948 on Gaston Street. The three buildings would serve Brevard elementary students for the next 30 years.
The African American community also received a new school in 1948 to replace their schoolhouse that had burned seven years earlier. During the interim students had attended class in churches. Bond money was not used for the new Rosenwald School because the School Board had been setting aside funds for its construction already. However, the school board did not provide furnishings for the school. The old desks and chairs from the church classrooms were moved, funds were raised by the community to purchase kitchen equipment and a piano, and the fluorescent lights were provided by the Lions Club.
In September 1959 students in grades 10-12 moved to the new Brevard High School on Country Club Rd. In 1960 the first Brevard Junior High opened in the old high school on Broad St. with seventh through ninth grade students from Brevard, Penrose, and Straus schools. It wasn’t until 1966 the ninth graders moved to the Brevard High.
Although Brevard High had become integrated in 1962 Transylvania County Schools were not completely integrated until 1966. That fall Rosenwald School closed and elementary students began attending Brevard Elementary and Brevard Junior High. That same year the ninth grade was moved to the Brevard High.
In January 1975 the current Brevard Elementary and Brevard Middle schools opened. This marked the first time in about 70 years that schools were not located in downtown Brevard.
During the next couple week Picturing the Past will show changes to downtown Brevard during this same period of 1940 through the mid-1970s.
Photographs and information for this column are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County Library. Visit the NC Room during regular library hours (Monday-Friday) to learn more about our history and see additional photographs. For more information, comments, or suggestions contact Marcy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-884-1820.