Sunday, February 5, 2017

First visit inside Beaty-Warren Middle School (a.k.a. Beaty Junior High School) since June 1965

View of front of building from the second floor of what used to be the wing container shop and home ec classrooms.

All photos by Retiring Guy

The old main entrance, complete with chandiliers, looks pretty much like it always has.  (The doors at right lead to the gym.)

First floor hallway along the Conewango Creek side of the building, a longer perspective than when I attended from September 1962 to June 1965.

A view of what's left of the courtyard and the exterior north wall of the former band/chorus room.

The library media center now occupies the band/chorus room.

The original cafeteria was a large, open space with rows of windows along the south and west walls that provided a panoramis view of the Conewango Creek.

The new chorus room.

The new band/orchestra room.

The auditorium is little changed.

The office has moved from just to the right of the old main entrance to the east side of the building, near the auditorium.

The stairwells to the second floor also remain  basically unchanged.

The original library space is now a computer lab.

As is the room where Mr. Kurz taught drafting for many years.

Thanks to my sister-in-law, a Beaty faculty member, for a most enjoyable tour.

The following, "Beaty Middle School:  On the Banks of Conewango", was originally published at Retiring Guy on May 15, 2009.

First off, it's now called Beaty Middle School. When I attended during the years 1962-1965, the student body averaged 1300 7th, 8th, and 9th graders. The grade range is now 5th through 8th, and the average student population has slid to 800, I'd guess.

(On the day in 1957 when my family and I first arrived in Warren, having moved there from Great Falls, Montana, I recall a road sign proclaiming "Home to 15,000 Friendly People". According to the 2000 census, Warren's population is 10,257. Current estimates put it at 9,700.)

Thanks to 7th- and 8th-grade chorus, I can still recite the lyrics of the first verse and chorus of Beaty's insipid Alma Mater.

On the banks of the Conewango,

Just above the dam,

Stands the Beaty Junior High School

Stately and so grand.
[And indeed it is.]

True to Beaty we will ever
Loudly sing her praise.
Hail to Beaty Junior High School
Hail to thee always.

After two failed referenda -- 1923 and 1925 -- the Beaty family provided the land on the north and south sides of Third Avenue along the Conewango Creek for the school. Construction started in the spring of 1929 and was completed in time for the 1930-31 school year. (The school is on the south side of Third Avenue; a track, football field, tennis courts, and playground are on the north.)

About those Beatys......

David Beaty, the family patriarch, built the residence pictured below in the early 1870s. What you see is about half of the original structure. In 1939, his son, David Beaty II, demolished the front section, which included a four-story tower. He also replaced the original mansard roof with a pitched one. (To get a sense of how the original house looked, think "The Munsters", before dilapidation set in.)

Walter Beaty, one of the patriarch's grandsons, built the brick-and-stone Georgian mansion (shown below), complete with semi-circular driveway, in 1924.

The next picture presents a timeline, from far to near, of Beaty's growth: the original 1930 structure, a seamless 1937 addition, a sleeker 1953 addition, and a seamless 1965 addition. (At 520 students, the class of 1975 was the largest to go through the Warren public school system.)

A view below of the original section and a classroom portion of the 1953 addition.

In addition to the Alma Mater, I can still reel off my 7th-grade schedule.

1st & 5th periods. Room 210. History & Geography. First-year teacher Mr. Giordano, who kept order with his rumbling-beneath-the-surface demeanor.

2nd & 6th periods. Room 106. English. First-year teacher Miss Popielski, who left after the first semester and soon became Mrs. Shields. (Mr. Shields taught 8th grade English. Mrs. Shields eventually returned to the classroom, though long after I'd left Beaty.) Miss Popielski wore Wilma Flintstone bracelets that jangled loudly when she wrote on the blackboard. Mrs. Perry taught the class during the second semester.

3rd period. Room 219. Chorus on M-W-F. Miss Mathis, who became Mrs. Peterson before the start of 8th grade, without any noticeable effects. Gym on Tu-Th with old-as-the-hills Mr. Hutchins.

4th period. Room 105. Science (1st semester). Mr. Smith. Art (2nd semester). Miss Clepper.

7th period. Room 211. Math. Mrs. Hubbard, who was probably in her 30th year of teaching at the time. If not my favorite, she was, by far, the best teacher I had during my Beaty years.

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