The Rockville school was a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project in Rockville, Minnesota. In late 1934, the town of Rockville realized they needed a bigger school for the children in their town: too many children attended the existing school, and the town was utilizing the second floor of the city hall as more classrooms. The school secured WPA funding to build a bigger school to meet the needs of the growing town. This project provided 78,773 hours of labor, it cost a total of $37,474 in labor costs.
The school is a monument of the granite industry that employs many of the town residents. All of the stone used for the school came from a local quarry, the John Clark quarry, most of the granite that was used came at a low cost, because the workers were able to find it in the scrap pile of “valueless” pieces. The building contains two stones taken from the Congressional Library in Washington that provide contrast in the building’s appearance. They later renamed the school to the John Clark school to honor the granite that was used to build the school.The school had an updated heating system, a basement, 4 classrooms, and a town auditorium. The auditorium was used by the town for meetings, and social gatherings.
To this day the school still stands strong, however they have of course expanded beyond the 4 classrooms that were originally there. In 2003, John Clark Elementary school was still running strong and from the newspaper article, the school received $250,000 to put towards improving the school. And as of 2021, the elementary school is still operating.
“3,000 Attend Festival for WPA Project .” St. Cloud Times, 21 Sept. 1936, p. 1.
“How Did FDR's New Deal WPA Projects Change the Look of Minnesota?” Eminetra, 23 Oct. 2020, https://eminetra.com/how-did-fdrs-new-deal-wpa-projects-change-the-look-of-minnesota/146969/.
“John Clark Elementary Home - Rocori School District.” Home - Rocori School District, https://www.rocori.k12.mn.us/john-clark-elementary-home.
John Clark School - Rockville, Minnesota - WPA Projects on Waymarking.com, https://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/wm8XX1_John_Clark_School_Rockville_Minnesota.
“Rockville Dedicated Granite School Sunday.” St. Cloud Times, 19 Sept. 1936, p. 3.
“Rockville Granite School Is a Monument to the Industry.” St. Cloud Times, 18 Sept. 1936, p. 4.
“Bond.” St. Cloud Times, 6 Jan. 2003.
Project originally submitted by Kaleigh Flynn on December 30, 2021.
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