Have memories, photos of West?
West Gresham Elementary School is closing at the end of the school year and some alums are creating a memory book and asking former students, teachers and other Wildcats to contribute photos and memories.
The school is also planning a closing celebration on Friday, June 5. Details for the celebration are not yet available.
West Gresham has a rich history and was the first elementary school in the city.
It was constructed in 1923 on property donated by Henry Metzger. The architect was Manson White of Portland and C.E. Stockton of Gresham was the contractor. Stockton's construction bid was $47,000. Plumbing and heating were an additional $12,360.
When it opened, with 318 students in eight grades, the school had 10 classrooms and an auditorium.
Classrooms were added in 1926 and 1928 and more construction took place over the next decade.
In 1942, the cafeteria space was needed for classrooms and the children ate "sack" lunches in the supply room until a new lunch room was built.
West's enrollment slipped as 41 students were moved to Japanese internment camps during World War II. In 1943, the local population increased with shipyard industry workers. By 1948, four more classrooms were added, including a music room, for a total of 22 classrooms.
West has had 17 principals since it opened.
For more information about the memory book, visit the group's Facebook page at: facebook.com/groups/2936125849753582/.
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