Avondale School




One of the Finest and Best Equipped in State




Everything Which Could Add to Comfort of Pupils

And Facilitate Work Has Been Provided


     Avondale residents are looking with great expectation to a time about two weeks hence when their grammar school will be moved from its ancient quarters on Jefferson Avenue to the new, commodious and beautiful building on Miller Street.  Incidentally teachers and pupils in the school itself are waiting impatiently for the time when they will have large, light rooms in which to operate with a sufficiency of elbow room.  While it is not known just when the new school house will be occupied.  It is thought that it will not be later than April 1 anyway.

Building Well Situated

     Situated as it is in a natural forest, with its second story windows affording an excellent view of the surrounding country for miles on the west, and giving an equally attractive perspective on the east until Missionary Ridge rises and curtails the gaze, the new Avondale school has an ideal natural location.  But all that man could do, all that the architect and the esthetician could do in the way of supplementing with artificial embellishments the natural attractiveness of an unusually pleasing landscape, has been done.  When the Avondale school moves into the new house two weeks hence it will occupy one of the handsomest, most convenient and commodious buildings in Hamilton County, and Hamilton County schools on the whole are superior in many respects to all others in the South.

     But one thing is needed at the Avondale school.  That is, a grading of Miller Street on the west side of the building, between the quarry and the school, down to the level of Jefferson Avenue, with a retaining wall for safety and good looks.  Danger would lurk in the quarry if hundreds of children should play in the west school yard, unless by grading and constructing a retaining wall the danger should be removed, and of course the teachers in the school and the Avondale community are very anxious that this work be done.  But they have the promise from Judge S. M. Walker that it will be done, and therefore are losing no sleep on this account.

General Plan of Building

     Constructed of red brick with stone foundations, the Avondale building is two stories high with a basement, and cost approximately $18,000.  On the first floor are entrances on the north, west and south, the main entrance being on the west.  The school faces that direction.  Immediately to the left of the main entrance hall is the office and just north of it is the eighth grade room.  This arrangement is specially convenient for the principal who can step out of his office through a side door into the eighth grade room which class he teaches.  To the right of the entrance hall is one large for the second grade.  From the south to the north entrance is a long hall.  The whole east side if the first floor is taken up by three rooms of equal dimensions, the two southern rooms being for the first grade and the northern apartment for the third.  At the north end of the center hall is the stair steps leading to the second floor.

     Arriving on the second floor, one enters a hall running from the north end of the building to the large auditorium on the south, which takes up half the second floor.  On the west side of the hall is a large room for the fourth grade and a small cloak room, while on the east is a large room for the fifth and sixth grades, and a small cloak room.  On the east side of the auditorium is an elevated rostrum with a dressing room on either side.  The north dressing room may also be entered from the cloak room south of the fifth and sixth grade room.

     All the interior wood work of the school is in leaden and mahogany colors.

Air Bound to Be Fresh

     By the system of direct and redirect heating used all the air in the school is changed every fifteen minutes.  It is the only thorough system of hearing in Hamilton County, the instructors say, outside of Chattanooga, and the City High School building is the only structure in Chattanooga having the same system.

     One of the most commendable points about the entire building is the scientific lighting system.  The rostrums have been so constructed, and the seats will be so arranged that the light coming in through the windows will be thrown upon the pupils from the back and the left side.  Scientists have long contended that is the proper method, and school officials by actual practice have found that their contentions are well founded.  The Avondale school is the only one in Hamilton County which is thoroughly up-to-date in this respect and so far as the instructors know, is the only one anywhere.

Work of School at Present

     Pending the time of removal into the new school, the Avondale pupils and teachers are busy in the old building.  Professor Joe F. Benson is the principal, and he has five assistants.  He has been with the same school five years already, and this is his sixth.  He likes the place, and he himself teaches the seventh and eighth grades.  The average attendance for the seventh grade is 16, while the eighth's average is an even dozen. 

     Mrs. M. A. Garber teaches the first grade, which is divided into two sections, with a combined daily attendance of 60.  Miss Lola Webb, of St. Elmo who instructs the second grade, has a daily attendance of 51.  Miss Stella Ward, of Athens, who teaches the young ideas of the third grade how to shoot has even four dozen pupils in daily attendance.  Mrs. J. F. Benson instructs the fourth grade with 52 daily attendance, while Miss Ethel Zeigler teaches the fifth and sixth grades, with a combined daily attendance of 48.  All of the teachers do creditable work.

    "We have a splendid corps of teachers who are specialists in several lines," said Principal Benson to a Star reporter.  "But the faculty follows the County's regular course in every respect.  In harmony with the County Superintendent's instructions."

     Professor Benson believes a majority of all the pupils will make passing grades at the end of the term.  The possibilities, he says, are that a greater per cent will pass this year than was the case at the close of any previous year since he has been with the school, which is rather a good showing.

An Enterprising Community

     The marvelous success attained by Professor Benson and his corps of able assistants has been made possible in a great degree, aside from the work of the County Superintendent and the County Board, by the practical, timely assistance afforded by the citizens of the Avondale community.  The Avondale Business League furnished $525 of the money that purchased the new school lot and on this account may be said to have made the new building a possibility.  The Ladies Aid Society of Avondale has done much in keeping children in school who could not purchase books and clothes.  They also see that every case of measles, whooping cough or other contagious disease which develops in the community is reported to Professor Benson, so that in this way precautions are taken to keep the pupils all in good health, not only in these ways, but in every imaginable, the Avondale residents lend their utmost assistance to Professor Benson and his assistants making it possible for him to overcome many difficulties which he could not otherwise fight against.

     Pupils of the Avondale school also take pride in the place of instruction. As one evidence of their interest they have placed $54 worth of books in the building this year.  When the new building is occupied, book cases will be kept in each room and pupils and teachers will contribute to he department libraries as they feel disposed to do so.

Constant Watch Not Necessary

     The walls of the Avondale school are ornamental with a number of framed maps and drawings executed by the pupils.  Some of his work shows marked skill and intelligence on the part of the young folks, while all of it is good.  In passing from one department to another The Starr reporter has occasion to wait a few moments in a room where the instructor was not present.  The order here was of the best and the pupils seemed all to be busily engaged work out problems and studying lessons just as if their principal had been on hand.