1938-39 Lakeside Gym BuildLakeside Gym Construction
The Lakeside School was built in 1918 in Chisago City, MN. The original school was not built with an auditorium or anywhere for entertainment, plays, etc. and after 30 years the gymnasium in the school had fallen into disarray and many schools in the area refused to play in the gym that had a narrow floor, low ceiling, and no room for spectators. In 1934 the WPA selected Chisago County among 13 other counties to receive a WPA project. The school board submitted an application for federal aid in August of 1938 to make improvements to the school. In September the Public Works Administration dedicated a grant of $20,250 to make improvements to the current schoolhouse as well as a new gymnasium and an auditorium. The entire cost of the addition would be $45,000; so, a week after the PWA announcement, the community voted in favor of raising $24,750 for the erection of the new school additions. The school district had also recently purchased four acres of land around the school, which Superintendent M.A. Ziehl submitted to the Work Progress Administration for federal aid to improve this land. A grant was allotted by the WPA of $14,295, along with 26 WPA workers to improve the grounds and to create a playground, an athletic field, including a track course, football field, and a baseball diamond, as well as landscaping around the school.
All improvements were built by the WPA, and the gymnasium and auditorium were paid for partly by the PWA. In April 1939 a crowd of over 500 people gathered at the dedication of the new gymnasium, where a time capsule was placed with coins, postage stamps, copies of school records and other items. The gymnasium and auditorium were completed in September of 1939. The gym was one of the finest in its section of the state, and it would become the favorite for district tournaments and could seat roughly one thousand people. In addition to the new gymnasium and auditorium, workers added a kitchen with electric stove and modern appliances in the corner of the gym, new showers, toilets, locker rooms, store rooms and extensive alterations in the older structure, making room for two new departments. Industrial arts and home economics were made available, adding new jobs to the school and expanded the curriculum for students. St. Cloud Teachers College President George Selke spoke at the school’s dedication.
Lakeside School stood for 100 years, and the WPA gym was in service for 80 years before both were retired in 2019, when the school was demolished. The time capsule was also opened as part of an elementary school program, revealing coins, stamps, Newspapers from 1939, and signatures of the entire student body.
“1938-39 Lakeside Gym Build.” Chisago Lakes Indians (1919-1969), 2020, www.isd2144.org/Page/1708.
Zilka, Ashley. “Lakeside Elementary in Chisago City Opens Time Capsule.” KSTP. KSTP, December 20, 2019. https://kstp.com/news/lakeside-elementary-in-chisago-city-opens-time-capsule/5585960/.
Hackl, Lloyd C., Porter, Robert B., Freeman, Leilani. A history of Chicago County: 1851-2001. [Place of publication not identified]: Chisago County Historical Society, 2001.
Chisago County Press. “Chisago Votes $24,750.00 Bond Issue For New School Gymnasium and Auditorium.” Chisago County Press No. 30 (1938): 1. Minnesota Historical Society and Chisago County Historical Society
Chisago County Press. “Sum of $14,295 Alowed For Athletic Field at Chisago City High School.” Chisago County Press No. 32 (1938): 1. Minnesota Historical Society and Chisago County Historical Society.
Chisago County Press. “Chisago County Commissioners Sponsoring WPA Project to Clean Drainage Ditches Leading to Lakes.” Chisago County Press No. 34 (1938): 1. Minnesota Historical Society and Chisago County Historical Society
Chisago County Press. “Chisago School to Dedicate New Gym Next Wednesday.” Chisago County Press No. 6 (1939): 1. Minnesota Historical Society and Chisago County Historical Society
Chisago County Press. “Chisago School to Dedicate its New Gym Friday.” Chisago County Press No. 7 (1939): 1. Minnesota Historical Society and Chisago County Historical Society
Chisago County Press. “Many Changes in Chisago City High School this Year.” Chisago County Press 41, No. 30 (1939): 1 Minnesota Historical Society and Chisago County Historical Society
Chisago County Press. “Chisago School Gym will be Complete this Coming Week.” Chisago County Press No. 28 (1939): 1 Minnesota Historical Society and Chisago County Historical Society
Chisago County Press. “Chisago School Auditorium to be Dedicated OCT. 22.” Chisago County Press (1939): 1 Minnesota Historical Society and Chisago County Historical Society
Project originally submitted by Dawson Morrison on December 18, 2020.
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