- Banning, CA
- Site Type:
- Education and Health, Schools
- New Deal Agencies:
- Work Relief Programs, Works Progress Administration (WPA)
- G. Stanley Wilson
- Quality of Information:
- Very Good
- Site Survival:
Evidence of Works Progress Administration (WPA) involvement in the former Banning High School building, now Nicolet Middle School, comes from a non-copyrighted pamphlet with no clear title or page number, that was handed out at the 2005 all-class reunion of Banning High School. The following text is from the pamphlet:
“In 1933 a huge earthquake stuck [sic] Long Beach, California, and did major damage to that city. It also cause [sic] parts of Banning High School to be considered unsafe. The Auditorium was condemned and the remainder of the school was in poor condition.
“In 1935 the Depression had spread across America and new programs were put into place to help the people. The largest and most important of the New Deal cultural programs was the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a massive employment relief program launched in the spring of 1935. The reconstruction of Banning High School seemed to be an ideal project for the WPA. Plans were made to replace the old high school with the most modern educational facility in the Inland Empire. It was decided that two schools would be constructed. One in Banning and one in Palm Springs. The WPA contributed $121,500 towards this construction to which the community would add additional money. The project estimated that they would spend $150,000 on the Banning High School and $110,000 on the Palm Springs site. Construction began in Palm Springs in January of 1938 and [in] March of 1938 for the new Banning High School. It was opened as Banning High School in 1939. The beautiful facility in Banning was the design of G. Stanley Wilson one of the most famous architects in the region during that time. The building built almost entirely of concrete was designed to survive any earthquake such as the one that ruined the first school. Today it stands the test of time.”
Source notesReunion pamphlet. (See description above.)
Site originally submitted by Don Barrett on February 9, 2016.
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