Algodones Elementary School Addition – Algodones NM

City:
Algodones, NM

Site Type:
Education and Health, Schools

New Deal Agencies:
Work Relief Programs, Works Progress Administration (WPA)

Started:
1936

Completed:
1936

Quality of Information:
Moderate

Marked:
No

Site Survival:
No Longer Extant

Description

On September 17, 1935, the Bernalillo Board of Education made a project proposal to the Works Progress Administration (WPA) for an addition to an the elementary school in the village of Algodones, a rural farming community north of Albuquerque. The project, which was carried out in 1936, also included “leveling and straightining [sic] of the school grounds” (WPA OP 65-85-492: 7158).

The Board estimated that the work would cost the school district $2,768.00, with the WPA contributing another $3,168.00.

The WPA played an important role in developing school infrastructure in New Mexico during the Great Depression. Prior to the New Deal, New Mexico’s more than 900 school districts relied primarily on property taxes to fund new school construction. Given the state’s low tax base, especially in poor rural areas, the monies provided by the PWA and WPA proved a boon to school construction.

According to one source, by 1937 the WPA had financed 257 new school buildings, 54 playgrounds, 15 gymnasiums, and remodeled 56 schools in New Mexico (Nanninga, 1942: 111).  Another source says that by the conclusion of the New Deal, 361 schools had been constructed with WPA funds, representing the seventh highest expenditure on schools in the United States during the Depression (Kammer, 1994: 53).

While the school is still in operation, it is unclear whether the WPA improvements are extant.

Source notes

Kammer, David. The Historic and Architectural Resources of the New Deal in New Mexico. Multiple Property Documentation Form prepared for the Historic Preservation Division, 1994.

Nanninga, Simon P. The New Mexico School System. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1942.

WPA Project File # 65-85-492

Site originally submitted by John Murphey on April 13, 2015.

Location Info


1399 Highway 313
Algodones, NM 87001
Sandoval County

Coordinates: 35.37888, -106.48286

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