As we have chronicled before, the National Youth Administration, one of the New Deal Administration programs from the 1930s, constructed some 66 documented and/or conjectured administration, classroom, gymnasium, home economics, shop/band hall and vocational buildings, along with several superintendent and teacher houses, in Mississippi between 1937-1942. Thirty-eight of those buildings are documented to be still standing, or were at the time of publication in the Mississippi Department of Archives and History Historic Resources Inventory. From the looks of it, Water Valley’s Jeff Davis Vocational Building is sliding down toward its last days.
At least someone has put a protective roof and extended gable protection to provide some level of preservation from the elements, and from the looks of the windows and doors, none too soon. The rock veneer building is located behind the former Jeff Davis Consolidated School Complex at the Northeast corner of CR 436 and CR 220. Don’t blink–you’ll miss it. It is located behind other structures in varying states of disrepair which appear to be primarily storage. The school building that faces the highway (green roof visible to the left of the photograph) has no identifying information, but is a red brick building that appears to be in good shape and of a size to have housed several classrooms. The gymnasium (circa 1940) is no longer extant. The Administration Building (1949) was designed by architects Claude Northern and K. E. Murff. MDAH indicated a house next door was possibly a teacher’s house (circa 1945).