Friday, May 25, 2012

Old Junior High Gym... Gone

May 25, 2012
The gym last fall (photo taken November 5, 2011)

Frederick's Junior High Gym Razed
The old Frederick Junior High Gym, built in 1922 as Frederick High School’s gym, has been torn down.
Site of the old Frederick Junior High Gym on South 13th Street (photo taken at noon, May 25, 2011)
 The old school’s auditorium and classroom wings were removed several months ago, leaving the attached gym as a free-standing, doomed relic of the past. Removal of this last part of the school took place this week. Today (May 25, 2012) workers are clearing the last part of the debris and hauling the stately building’s brick and concrete to a landfill.
When the gym was constructed as part of the Frederick High School and Convention Center in 1922, it was an impressive facility. The city of Frederick was only 20 years old at the time, the area that is western Tillman County had been opened to settlement for only 21 years, and this grand brick gym was a modern showplace.
Although small by today’s standards, the gym hosted the Tillman County Basketball Tournament for decades. Schools from across the county (and in those days there WERE many schools in the county!) sent teams to Frederick for the annual tournament, and thousands of supporters attended.
My dad, D.B. Wynn, who graduated at Weaver Consolidated #13 in 1936, told stories about the big county tournament in those days. Everybody came. Fans packed the gym’s second floor balcony, and the best seats in the house were had by those who sat with legs dangling from the balcony.
In January 2012, the gym remained after the school was removed.
In the 1960s, dressing rooms and showers were built at the east front of the gym. The modern addition did not match the building’s 1922 architecture and always seemed aesthetically inappropriate.
When Frederick High School moved to its new campus in 1950, the former high school became Central Elementary School and the gym was used by Frederick Junior High.
Generations of Frederick’s young people remember the junior high gym as the site of P.E. classes, volleyball, basketball, climbing rope, and running laps around the scary oval balcony track.
Photo taken during the February 26, 2011 Oyster Fry Craft Show pictures the old gym's balcony area.
Rubble from the razed building is being hauled away (photo taken May 25, 2012)

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