This article from the March 14, 1937 issue of the Clarion-Ledger manages an in-depth description of Jackson’s iconic Art Moderne school without ever mentioning its architects, N.W. Overstreet and A.H. Town of Jackson. I also realized for the first time, when it mentions the Bailey property was acquired from the State of Mississippi, this was part of the enormous asylum property that only became available for other uses after the state hospital had vacated the site in 1935. Although most of the asylum campus sat north of what is now Woodrow Wilson, the lands surrounding it, worked by patients, provided food for the asylum. Now I want to look back at some aerials of the period before 1935 to see if the Bailey property was part of that farming operation.
Edward L. Bailey Junior High Is Near Completion
Magnificent Structure Topping Million Dollar Building Plan in City
By REX MOODY
“That individual is best educated whose knowledge is broadest whose understanding is deepest and whose services noblest. If society would justify its investment in education let it do so in these things.”
This inscription set into the monolithic concrete walls of the new Edward L. Bailey Junior high school on North State street is synonymous with the aims of the Jackson school system.
Jackson’s huge building program nearing completion is expected to be another step in the direction of this objective.
Thirteen city schools have undergone alterations and modernization, one new school, the Poindexter elementary school on Robinson street, has just been completed and students moved in and the new Edward L. Bailey Junior high school is rapidly nearing completion.
The new $325,000 building situated on a 20-acre site purchased from the state of Mississippi, is conveniently located for students of junior high school age in north Jackson.
Planned with forethought and profiting by the mistakes in other institutions of similar construction, the new building is considered on of the most modern and efficient schools buildings in the south.
It is constructed of monolithic concrete and presents a massive exterior appearance, though architecturally planned along modern lines.
At the entrance the student is greeted with bas-reliefs of Thomas Hinds, after whom the county was named, and Pushmataha, Indian chief with whom a treaty for the land was made.
A large foyer leads into the building proper, arranged with long fireproof hallways extending the entire width of the building. Class rooms open off these hallways arranged similarly on each floor.
There are twenty-one class rooms in addition to art, home economics, industrial art, science, visual education, band and activity rooms.
The stairs are uniquely arranged so that landings are situated between floor levels, thus eliminating congestion and unnecessary crowding at recess time.
A large and modernly equipped cafeteria is located on the ground floor or basement, with accommodations to handle 400 students at a time. Every modern convenience and sanitary provision is being made for preparation and care of food.
The basement also accommodates storage rooms and dressing rooms for both local and visiting athletic teams, with showers for both boys and girls. Spiral iron staircases lead to the gymnasium floor directly above.
The gymnasium is large and well ventilated with adequate accommodations for spectators. The band room opens just off the gymnasium.
The library is well lighted by natural light, which floods in through ceiling-high windows, and built-in shelves are arranged conveniently. Two small conference rooms open off the library for use by students being coached.
Class rooms are arranged for easy access and are equipped with outside lockers and blackboards along one side of the interior of the room. Large windows provide sufficient light without the use of electrical fixtures, which are abundant in each room.
A number of conference rooms, offices and special student activity rooms are located throughout the building and provided with equipment characteristic of their particular activity.
The auditorium, situated in the right wing of the building, is arranged to accommodate between 1200 and 1400 students. Its floor is slightly elevated away from a large stage, provided with back-stage entrances. A small decorative balcony is constructed in the west end, opposite the stage.
The building may be entered by three entrances on the front, on the east, the side of the building, at either end or at three entrance in the rear, or east side of building. A driveway will be constructed in the rear of the building so that students may be deposited under sheltered entrances during rainy weather.
Special emphasis has also been placed on the foundation, which is constructed to withstand any shifting of land.
Before occupancy, the land surrounding the building will be leveled and graded and landscape artists employed in arranging shrubbery and plotting the contour of the surrounding grounds.
School officials expect to install equipment and have the building ready for opening of school September 1, 1937.
Clarion-Ledger, March 14, 1937