Placitas Elementary School (former) – Placitas NM

Project type: Education and Health, Schools
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The Works Progress Administration (WPA) built the Placitas Elementary School in Placitas NM.

This building was the elementary school for the unincorporated village of Placitas under the Bernalillo Public School System. There was a land swap of this site with Bernalillo Public Schools for a Gymnasium at Our Lady of Sorrows in the Town of Bernalillo. This land swap resulted in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe owning the building. The building is next door to the San Antonio Mission and the property was needed for the parking. It is now a place for parishioners to gather after the once a week Mass at the Mission.
This was a two room schoolhouse.

According to San Antonio de Las Huertas Land Grant website, “[The] first library [in the Placitas area] was housed in the large hallway of the school, located in what is now the San Antonio Catholic mission community center. The building consisted of two rooms with bathrooms (including flush toilets) in back. It was a WPA project and very well built.”

Tey Diana Rebolledo writes that, “As part of the Works Progress Administration during the Depression, two women interviewers, Lou Sage Batchen and Annette Hesch Thorp, gathered womens stories or cuentos from many native ancianas to glean vivid details of a way of life now long disappeared. Nothing specific about the WPA school in Placitas, but it has a section on Placitas that includes this: “In the spring of 1933 eight boys from the village were called to the CCC Camp in the [Las Huertas] forest reserve in the Sandía mountains. Into the homes of these boys came a regular income. In October of 1933 thirteen heads of families were placed on the CCC rolls. Since then [this is from an interview conducted in 1938] successive government projects have been carried out in Placitas. The money which has come into Placitas so regularly has worked a subtle change in the lives of the people. Their standard of living has been raised probably beyound their dreams, and almost without exception the people have improved their old homes or built new ones … There is a new public school in the plaza.”

Source notes

Note from the contributor: "I am an Architect and practiced with Dale Crawford and Associates in the 1980's. During this time, our company had an open end contract with Bernailllo Public Schools. We renovated Roosevelt Elementary School in the Town of Bernalillo, another WPA project. Later, in 1993 I moved to the unincorporated village of Placitas an began attending the San Antonio Catholic Mission for weekly Mass services. It is obvious from the construction design and techniques, this building was built under the same program."

San Antonio de Las Huertas Land Grant website:, accessed 12 July 2019.

Kathryn A. Flynn, Public Art and Architecture in New Mexico 1933-1943: A guide to the New Deal Legacy, Sunstone Press (2012), p.101.

Tey Diana Rebolledo, Women's Tales from the New Mexico WPA, Arte Publico Press (2000), pp.106-110.

Kermit Project,, accessed January 10, 2023.

Project originally submitted by Snow Watson on January 10, 2023.
Additional contributions by Frank da Cruz.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

Paseo de San Antonio
Placitas, NM 87043

Coordinates: 35.30794, -106.42248

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