Local

Footprints of Fayette

A Historical Column From The Fayette County
Historical Commission and Fayette County Judge’s Office

Town Of La Grange
Was Proud Of Its
Efficient School System
Transcribed By
Carolyn Heinsohn

Growth and progress necessitate change, which is evident in the plans for an expansion program at the LGISD elementary and intermediate campus. Looking back 80 years, similar issues had to be addressed at that time by the public, parochial and colored schools in La Grange. The following article has been transcribed from the Century of Progress edition of The Fayette County Record published in 1938. 
The La Grange community takes considerable pride in its school system, which, with additions soon to be made, will make it as modern as can be found anywhere in the state in a town of similar size.
The public school, erected in 1923-24 at a cost of approximately $120,000, has in recent years proved to be too small to accommodate the steadily increasing number of pupils, especially in the high school department, with the result that an expansion program will soon be launched with the assistance of a PWA grant.
The La Grange independent district on July 29 voted a $16,500 bond issue to match a $13,500 grant to erect a combination auditorium and gymnasium, convert the present auditorium to school uses and thereby alleviate an overcrowded condition. Work on this new building is due to start shortly.
For nearly 40 years the town used the old Casino club house, now the city hall and fire station, as a school. The new building was erected on a ten-acre tract, which provides adequate playground and an athletic field, the lights and bleachers for which were made available through the donations of public spirited citizens and the high school “L” association, Alumni association and Mothers club.
Besides the usual academic courses, the school offers courses in shorthand, typing, bookkeeping and home economics. This year a course in vocational agriculture has been added.
At present, the school employs 18 teachers, has an enrollment of 203 in the high school and 216 in the lower grades. It has 31 units of affiliation.
The Sacred Heart school, although a comparatively new institution, also has a modern and efficient plant. When the school was established in 1930, it was housed in the old Catholic rectory which had been converted into class rooms and living quarters for the sisters. In 1937, however, a modern two-story stucco building was erected on the parish grounds in the northeastern part of town. At the same time, a comfortable sisters’ home was erected. The school contains three large class rooms, an auditorium, chapel and various offices and other necessary rooms, all large enough to answer the demands of the school for many years to come. The school’s enrollment, which is confined to the first seven grades, averages better than 60 pupils a year. Three teachers are employed.
The town’s school for the colored has also shown rapid strides forward in recent years. The old wooden structures which had served for many years were cast aside in 1934 and the school was housed in a modern $16,000 building erected through the cooperation of the CWA. The colored school has a faculty of six teachers, has 18 units of affiliation and an enrollment of 176 pupils in the [lower] grades and 71 in high school.
This coming year the La Grange high school plans the inauguration of a bus service to operate between the town and Round Top for the benefit of pupils from the smaller communities who wish to take advantage of the facilities offered for educational training at La Grange. This is expected to increase the school’s enrollment.
Source:
The Fayette County Record; Century of Progress edition, 1938

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