Perkins High School had a wood-working class that was held in a shop building built of stone masonry. Unfortunately the building burned January 12, 1947 leaving only the stone masonry walls standing.
I remembered the fire, but I got the date and details from an old school newspaper that I have. I went to the Thomas- Wilhite library and looked at microfilms of The Perkins Journal for that winter. There were other fires that year, and people were concerned about fire protection. The Perkins Journal news items mentioned other fi res that winter. This included the John Springer family, and west of Perkins, Bill McGinty and a small fi re at Luster's Garage.
In August that year 600 bales of hay burned at the Fulwider hay shed. This was the fourth hay fire in two weeks. "The fire department requests that those driving to fires please don't block roads and entrances as the case at the Fulwider field."
In regard to the fire at the school shop building, the January 1947 meeting of the school board approved building a new shop building as soon as minor details could be completed. Also, some other precautionary steps for fi re prevention at the school were considered.
Editor Glynn Eyler wrote about fi re protection in his editorials that winter. One editorial pointed out that there was quite a bit of interest in fire prevention after the fi res of that winter. He suggested that in our small town we certainly must have great faith, and God has taken care of carelessness and inattention. But the time has come to update and correct deficiencies in fire protection.
Editor Eyler mentioned the three story high school building with two floors of wood and wooden stairs, soaked with sweeper oil. There are no fi re escapes from the upper floors. The school is planning to install permanent ladders on each side of the building. "We hope someday to see a modern, safe building replace the old one."
Mr. Eyler was very complimentary about the volunteer fire department, but he felt there was a need to get some new equipment for the fire department. One plan the town council considered was to ask each family in town to pay $5 extra on their water bill voluntarily until $700 was raised for new equipment.
At the February 1947 meeting of the town council more fi re fighting equipment was ordered. A power pump was ordered, and a fire siren whistle was authorized. A training session was planned for the volunteer firemen on the operation of the new equipment.
A new shop building, of concrete block construction, was completed in the fall of 1947. It was used for Industrial Arts and wood-working classes for several years. When wood-working classes were discontinued, the building was used for the band room. Then later the building was used for computer classes.
The building is now integrated into the Intermediate School building. Another room had been added onto the east of the original shop building. This school year Reading Class, taught by Mrs. Wilkey, is in the original shop building. Language Arts Class, taught my Mrs. York, is in the east room. Two of my grandchildren are in the fifth grade, and they have classes in these rooms.
So my grandchildren Gabrielle and Raphael and fellow fifth graders have reading class in 2013 in the same building I had high school shop class in 1953.
Apparently they did a good job when they built the shop building. And it didn't catch on fire.