Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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Washington School, Mason City

L-R: Washington School, High School, Garfield School, circa 1900

The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Monday, June 01, 1953
Mason City Centennial Edition, Section 7, Pages 15 & 37


 The city was growing northward. In 1890 the first unit of the Washington School, 7th and Washington
N. W., was built. It was enlarged in 1900, remodeled
in 1922 and torn down for another building in 1952.

. . . ."We pledge our faith and best efforts to do our part in the education of your children," said Supt. Lawrence H. Shepoiser in a statement prepared on the morning of Nov. 5,1952, after Mason City by a vote of 8,153 to 2,890 approved a $1,200,000 bond issue for the construction of two additional schools.

The superintendent was happy. Since coming to Mason City in 1947, he had worked to round out the physical needs and to improve the teaching standards of the schools. He had met some disappointments. This was proof once more that the people wanted good schools.

The passing of the bond issue, making possible the new Washington and Roosevelt grade schools, was the finishing touch of a school improvement program that stretched across two decades. In fact, the records don't show any period in the city's history when the community wasn't striving to improve its schools.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, December of 2014

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The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Monday, June 01, 1953
Mason City Centennial Edition, Page 32


Among the photographs that the years have made into valuable keepsakes is this picture, provided by W. S. Fulghum, of the 5th grade in the Washington School in 1911. Neither he nor Harley Ransom, who were members of the class can identify all of those in the picture. Those recognized, from left are - First row, unidentified, Hazel Stewart, Vera Duncan, Ada Nutting, Olda Kiple Enagnit, Florence Barlow, "Happy" Barlow and Paul Fitzpatrick; Second row, Ed Dunlop, Alice Lord Sloan, Adolph Witwer, Mickey McGuire, George Cassidy, Paul Ring, unidentified, unidentified, unidentified; Third row, Norma Bryant Jensen, Loretta Carney, _____ Hood, Gilbert Avery, Madge Colby, Willa Cole, George Brown, James Taylor and William Fulghum; Back row, unidentified, James McKee, unidentified, Harley Ransom, Ernest Nagle, Leo Carney, James Hanks and David Edwards

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, November of 2011

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The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
August 08, 2011

Washington School sold to Charlie Brown for 'community building'
by Deb Nicklay

MASON CITY — Washington School, which served public school students for decades, will now be home to Charlie Brown Preschool and Child Care.

The Mason City School Board unanimously agreed Monday to the $175,000 sale.

East Town Charlie Brown, now on Fourth Street Northeast, will close, said Liz Austin, executive consultant for Charlie Brown.

Austin said staff was “in awe” of the Washington building and are looking forward to the move, probably in late fall.

“We feel we will be an asset to the North End and fully intend to be as much a community building as a building for Charlie Brown,” Austin said.

“We want to offer up our building to other youth organizations,” Austin said. “We have a great gym, a great building, to serve programs for youth.”

The Washington building, most recently used as an early childhood center, was operated by the school district through most of its history as an elementary school.

It was closed in 2010 when early childhood programming was brought into the elementary schools.

The other early childhood center, located at Madison School in southwest Mason City, was retained by the district and will be used to house seventh-graders this year as John Adams Middle School renovation work progresses.

A public hearing preceded the vote for the sale.

Glenys Shafer, representing the North Iowa Christian School, asked the School Board to reconsider its intention to sell to Charlie Brown and said the Christian school could meet the same price offered by Charlie Brown.

However, School Board President Tim Becker said the district had to abide by bidding laws. At the time the bids were taken, Charlie Brown was the higher bidder.

Shafer also said she was concerned about the use of playground equipment by the community. She said a playground grant given the district some years ago at Washington said the equipment must be available to the community.

Becker said he believed it was Charlie Brown’s intention to allow the community use of the playground during hours when the equipment was not being used by the preschool.

Photograph courtsey of Globe Gazette
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, August of 2015



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