Chaffey Auditorium Interior
The first building on this campus was opened as part of the Chaffey College of Agriculture in 1885. It became the Ontario High School in 1901 and the present Chaffey High School in 1911. In 1916, the Chaffey Junior College of Agriculture was added as a postgraduate department to the high school. The junior college maintained a presence on the campus until 1959 when it moved to its present location in Alta Loma. After the destructive Long Beach earthquake of 1933, first SERA and then the WPA were extensively involved with the construction of a number of buildings on the high school/junior college campus:
The old liberal arts building was replaced by the North Hall which was begun under SERA in 1935 and completed in 1937 by the WPA.
The old science building was replaced in two sections by the WPA built South Hall between 1937 and 1940.
The new auditorium was built between 1937 and 1939.
A new swimming pool was begun under SERA in 1935 and finished under the WPA in 1937.
The Chaffey Memorial Library was finished in 1935.
The south bleacher was built in 1936 by the high school. The North bleacher was completed by the Chaffey Junior College of Agriculture in 1937.
A new gym and music building were also built during the 1930s but it is not clear whether the WPA helped with those as well.
The Chaffey Junior College Library “was built as a memorial to George and Benjamin Chaffey, brothers, who were early settlers in this city and developers of it.
It contains library facilities for both the high school and junior college pupils and is situated on the campus between the two schools. It contains 13,591 square feet of floor area. The stack room, 32 by 52 feet, has a capacity of 50,000 volumes in its two stories. The reading rooms and the memorial hall above been treated acoustically.
The entire school plant has an enrollment of about 2,200 pupils. The building will accommodate 250 persons. It is constructed of reinforced concrete and designed to withstand seismic disturbances.
The project was completed in October 1935 at a construction cost of $85,137 and a project cost of $92,021.”
(Short and Stanley-Brown)
Living New Deal Research Associate Charles Swaney sent over blueprints for the various buildings that comprise the complex. These plans are below:
Girls’ Gymnasium 1 Girls’ Gymnasium 6
Girls’ Gymnasium 2 Girls’ Gymnasium 7
Girls’ Gymnasium 3 Girls’ Gymnasium 8
Girls’ Gymnasium 4 Girls’ Gymnasium 9
Girls’ Gymnasium 5 Girls’ Gymnasium 10
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History of Chaffey High School: http://www.chaffey.org/community/history/buildings/index.html Connolly, Donald H. and G. I. Farman. Report of Accomplishments of the Operations Division. Works Progress Administration: Southern California. January 1, 1939. Short, C. W. and R. Stanley-Brown (1939) Public Buildings: Architecture Under the Public Works Administration, 1933 to 1939. United States Government Printing Office: Washington, DC.
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