East Lampeter Township in Pennsylvania received a new school building in 1937 as part of a New Deal project; the facility was financed in part by the Public Works Administration. The PWA supplied a $50,768 grant for the project, whose total cost was $122,170. The location and status of the facility is presently unknown to Living New Deal.
Interestingly, the township had intended to auction off the “little red schoolhouses,” attended by local Amish children, which this facility replaced. However, the motion was blocked by a Federal judge on March 2, 1938, and the sect won the right to continue sending their children to ‘simple’ one-room schoolhouses. The New York Times reported:
The School Board had hoped that by selling the schoolhouses it could compel attendance of Amish children at the new … consolidated school at Smoketown, which the Amish sect opposes because it was built with [PWA] funds and a “needless luxury.”
PWA Docket No. PA [W]1550
Source: National Archives: Record Group 135: Public Works Administration; Projects Control Division; Entry 52: Indices to Non-Federal Projects; Report No. 5: Status of All Completed Non-Federal Allotted Projects, page 34.
The New York Times: "Amish Win Suit to Save Little Red Schoolhouses," March 3, 1938 (pg. 5)
The New York Times: "THE AMISH WIN THEIR BATTLE," Dec. 4, 1938 (pg. 2)
Project originally submitted by Evan Kalish on April 2, 2018.
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