Damien High School/Old Bonita Union High School – La Verne CA


Then the Bonita Union High School, this school received extensive WPA support after the 1933 Long Beach earthquake. According the a 1939 WPA Accomplishment Report for Southern California, the federal government spent $63,927 on the school out of a total of $92,406. The WPA constructed three new reinforced concrete buildings on the site: a library and classroom building, girls gym, and music building. They also developed 7.22 acres for athletic and playground purposes (grading and seeding, handball courts with concrete floor and walls).

When Bonita High School moved in 1959, the site was sold to the Catholic Diocese and became an all boys Catholic High School. It's unclear how many of the WPA structures are still standing. The school's history page states that: "Classes were held in many of the buildings, which were as yet relics of the Works Progress Administration of the 1930s. By 1962 marked changes had begun to take place. In October of that year, a newly constructed wing was opened including eight classrooms and science labs. Spartan Stadium was also completed. During 1964, many of the older buildings were demolished and the campus received a face-lift. Parking facilities were completed during 1965, and early 1966 saw the completion of the priests residence. The 1970s and 1980s were also a time of growth for Damien, witnessing the completion of a new gymnasium, the four classrooms of the 500 wing and the Administration and Science building, which includes six classrooms, two science labs, and administration offices."

Project Details

Federal Cost Local Cost Total Cost Project #'s
63927 92406

Source notes

Connolly, Donald H. and G. I. Farman. Report of Accomplishments of the Operations Division. Works Progress Administration: Southern California. January 1, 1939.

Glauthier, Martha. San Dimas Remembered: Bonita Union High School. San Dimas Historical Society.


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Location Info

2280 Damien Ave.
La Verne, CA

Location notes:

Coordinates: 34.104239, -117.787397

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