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History of the Surrattsville Buildings

School Buildings History:  The Foundation received these fascinating emails in response to a request for details on the various Surrattsville buildings:
"Maybe this will help about the "after World War II" building programs at Surratts.  I started 1st grade at Surrattsville in 1949.  It was the old two-story building with all 12 grades.  We ate lunch in our classrooms at that time as there was no cafeteria.  A class member would go to the office at lunchtime to get the milk and ice cream that students had purchased that day.  I think that the big room (that would become the cafeteria) was the library/auditorium.  Betty Bowie and I were flower girls in 1st grade for the May Dance held in that room.  When I was in about 4th or 5th grade (1953-54), the new Elementary School was built on Clinton Manor Drive.  At first it only accommodated 1st through 3rd grades.  Mary B. Edelen became the elementary school principal.  In the next several years, they gradually expanded to 6th grade.  I missed the move each time they expanded because of the grade I was in -- I was glad as I liked the old school and did not want to move.  I can remember the 2-story addition with the gym being made to the basic building, but I cannot remember exactly when it was -- I'm pretty sure it was when I was still in elementary school.  I started 7th grade in 1955.  The "new" Senior High School off Piscataway Road was completed in 1960.  This was when the old building became the Junior High School.  Other students and I helped to move biology equipment to the new school to help Mrs. Holland in handling the special equipment.  Our Class of '61 was the first class to graduate from the new High School having been there all of our Senior Year (the Class of '60 had attended classes there for the last part of their Senior Year).  Maybe others can help pin down the dates of the 2-story/gym addition, etc.  I always loved Surrattsville.  The principal, Mr. Pryde, took such pride in the school.  I remember the big preparations when Surrattsville was to undergo some special "evaluation" in the mid 50's.  Everything had to be in tip-top shape.  The school was such an integral part of the community.  Our society has lost a lot since those days of community/school/church connections.  Hope some of this helps. Joan Penn Revis (61)"
"The elementary school had to be built between 1955 - 1957. I attended 3rd grade there in 1951, left and returned in Oct. 1954 to the seventh grade. An addition was added to the building from 54-56, and it was still grades 1 through 12 during construction in Oct 1954. The New School opened in Oct/Nov 1959. I was part of the student Senior volunteers that helped move boxes and supplies. I graduated in the Class of 1960, the First Class from the "New" school.  Garvin Smith (60)"
"I went to SHS grades 1-12 in the same building.  I know that there was an elementary school still operating in the 1951-1952 school year, at SHS, as I was in it.  My class of 1958 was supposed to be the last graduating class from the jr./sr.high school, but the new school did not get finished in time, so the 1959 class was the last graduating class of SHS junior/sr. high school.  Jean Merriman Beardmore (58)"
"I am going to check with my Mom.  However, I am pretty sure the Elementary School opened in 1952 for my third grade.  Mrs. Johnson was my teacher.  Or, was it Mrs. Ellinger.  As I said, I'll check with my Mom tomorrow.  Best,  Len Owens (62)"
"I went to Surrattsville High School from Sept 1949 to June 1950, and unless my memory has completely failed me the elementary school occupied the ground floor of the building while the upper grades through 12 occupied the second floor.  Mr. Price was the principal and Mrs. McFadden was the vice principal..  I would be interested to learn where I can see (on line) a copy of the year book from my year there.   Tom Satterfield"
"Your Surratts news e-notice of April 1 was forwarded to me by Les Gooding.  I have never seen it before and found it to be most interesting - especially the historical notes and many references to my father and family.  I am Thomas Summers Gwynn, III, and I graduated in 1964.  My sister Sally graduated in 1962 and my sister Julie in 1970.  I started first grade at Surrattsville in the fall of 1952. At that time, all 12 grades were in one building.  The new elementary school was completed in time for me to go there for all of second grade.  I lived close enough to walk to all three of the Surrattsville schools that I attended.  Summers Gwynn (64)."






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