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Click on photos for individual view.

By January of 1947, the first families began to arrive and the pressing need for school facilities became apparent. During the summer of 1947, the Corps converted a southern most duplex on James Avenue to a grade school. It opened for the 1947/1948 school year with twenty students. By the Spring of 1948 there were sixty plus students.

Until the completion of the new school building in the Fall of 1948, high school students were bused into Lake Andes.

At the time of its construction it was state of the art and the most modern facility in the state.The first graduating class was in 1949 and the last was in 1968.

In addition to its educational purpose, the building served as host to district basketball games, as a center for social and recreational activities. It was accessible for many an after hour pickup basketball game or other extra-curricular activity, including housing John Cover's wild animal furnace room menagerie.

The building was sold in September of 1977 and torn down soon after.

Student Council: Frances Stephens ('53),
Sally Bromberg ('55) Thelma Brown'(55),
Donna Green {'52),Tom Hahn ('52),
John Halloran '54), Quincy Wright
(Principal), Art Trautman ('53)

The first school opened in 1947 with twenty students.

James Ave School Spring 1948.jpg

By the spring of 1948 enrollment had grown to over sixty students.

1952-53 Junior Class play
School interiors
Ms. Aaby's 1952 5th grade class
Ms. Miller's 1949 1st grade class
Classroom sizes increased and decreased rapidly as the project was completed.

The school district was established in the summer of 1947. The permanent school which was one of the best equipped in the state opened in the fall of 1948 and closed 20 years later in 1968. Prior to the school opening, grades one through eight attended school in a converted duplex on James Ave and high school students were bused to Lake Andes. To illustrate the rapid growth of the town … in the fall of 1947 the James Street School had 20 students and by the spring of 1948 the attendance had grown to 60 students. Construction of the school building began April 3, 1948 and continued even as the school opened on September 13th. The building structure was complete, however, there were no lockers or doors on the classrooms. Other finishing touches within the classrooms and halls were completed during school hours. The gym was the last to be completed and was ready for use in late December. The building was one of the most modern in the state. Some of its outstanding features were a home economics classroom, gym with a large stage at one end, woodworking shop, well equipped laboratory, complete darkroom and a visual education room.


There were 1600+ students overall that attended the school with only 181 graduating from High School. And, only 30 of those graduates attended all 12 grades. The first graduating class of three students was in 1949, last in 1968 had 10 students and the largest graduating class was 15 in 1961. School records reveal interesting insights about the town’s constantly changing student body such as … 41% of the students attended one year or less, 64% of the students attended for two years or less and 77% attended for three years or less Due to the continuous moving of construction company employees, the town and school population constantly shifting up and down. It was necessary to make friends fast.

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