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School board looks to demolition of Boones Creek Middle School

From STAFF REPORTS

A product of Depression-Era workmanship will be but a memory when the Boones Creek Middle School building comes down.

The Washington County Board of Education, at its meeting on Thursday, Jan. 14, voted to release bids to demolish the Boones Creek Middle School on Highway 36 in Boones Creek.

 The board was offered $300,000 for the property in 2020, which was listed for $2 million by Brokers Realty. The board declined the offer. At its Thursday, Jan. 14 meeting, the board also opted to have Director of Washington County Schools Bill Flanary request that the Washington County’s Health, Education, and Welfare allow the board to use $500,000 of its fund balance dollars for either the demolition of the old school or ionization units. 

Boones Creek Middle School was built in 1939 as a high school by the Works Progress Administration, which was an employment and infrastructure program created by President Roosevelt in 1935, during the bleakest years of the Great Depression. The WPA put roughly 8.5 million Americans to work. The WPA also sponsored projects in the arts.

Additional wings were constructed at the Boones Creek High School building in 1955 and 1959. When the new building was built in 1939, the high school had the luxury of indoor plumbing.

 In 1972, Boones Creek High School became Boones Creek Middle, with the construction and opening of Daniel Boone High School and Boones Creek Elementary School. The new Boones Creek K-8 School was built in 2019 and consolidated both Boones Creek Elementary and Boones Creek Middle. With the possible demolition of Boones Creek Middle School, the only remaining WPA High School buildings will be Sulphur Springs and Fall Branch Schools.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the WPA with an executive order on May 6, 1935. It was part of his New Deal plan to lift the country out of the Great Depression by reforming the financial system and restoring the economy to pre-Depression levels.

The WPA employed mostly unskilled men to carry out public works infrastructure projects. They built more than 4,000 new school buildings, erected 130 new hospitals, laid roughly 9,000 miles of storm drains and sanitary sewer lines. Those working for the WPA also helped construct Bridges, airfields, roads and plant tree projects.