One of the New Deal projects that gets less recognition is the Civil Works Administration, a job creation program established under the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, active in providing temporary employment for manual laborers between 1933-1934. Using standard Mississippi Department of Education plans, CWA built the vocational shop building for Magee schools in 1934. This building, along with many of the Depression-era school construction for Magee, is no longer extant.
The Magee grammar school was completed as Public Works Administration project W1215. The project was approved August 19, 1937 and a $10,627 grant was awarded toward the total cost of $23,615. Designed by Mississippi’s Edgar Lucian Malvaney, construction began December 4, 1937 and was completed March 18, 1938.
In addition to documentation in the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works Projects Division records from January 3, 1940, the Clarion-Ledger ran a list of all 228 school buildings in Mississippi completed with PWA aid, listing the Magee consolidated schools as benefitting (“PWA aided in construction of 228 school buildings in state; Complete list given. Sept. 25, 1939, Clarion-Ledger). The Lower Elementary School is no longer extant. Most likely, neither is the pedal car pictured on the sidewalk. It resembles the Western Flyer brand sold by Western Auto, such as the 1952 Champion pedal car. Maybe kids were taking the car to school earlier than we thought.