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A History of the Black River High School

On December 2, 1937 twelve bids were opened for building a new high school in Ludlow. The lowest bid was from Casper Ranger for $89,621. The following day a contract was signed with him. Ranger had done many buildings before for colleges like Smith and Amherst. Other work contracted out included: plumbing - $5740, heating and ventilation - $11,603, electrical work - $3,199.

The architects were A.E. Hudson, A.T. Win and Mr. Quinn. The superintendent of construction was Arthur D. Wilson.

school photoConstruction started in December of 1937 when a trench was dug for the foundation. Beginning in January 1938 work began on the foundation, then the walls. On March 24, 1938 the Black River Tribune reported that the new school was progressing rapidly and that a crew of bricklayers had started work. By April 28, 1938 the brick walls were at the second story. The roof was put on the building on June 4, 1938.

Building the Black River High School was part of the Public Works Administration, one of Roosevelt’s programs to combat the Great Depression. The P.W.A. funded $36,000 of the project. In the process of building, there were a few accidents. One occurred on May 19, 1938. Sim Jackson was injured by a falling tile. It hit him in the face resulting in a broken nose, and injured back. Also Emil Brisset the superintendent was injured and was rushed to the Rutland Hospital at around noon.

They dug the trench for the foundation a week after December 16, 1937. They planned on using house tools and equipment.

January 6, 1938, on Wednesday the cement was poured for the footing at the new school-building job and on Thursday it was expected that cement would be poured for the foundation walls.

On October 13, 1938 the Tribune reported that an inspection of the building was held up because of the 1938 hurricane and subsequent flooding. The following week work on the sidewalks began. The building was dedicated on November 6, 1938.

The building opened on Thursday, September 5th, 1939 at 9:00 am. The total enrollment was 454.