Lauderdale, north of Meridian, saw the construction of a vocational building, and possibly, a community center under the New Deal Administration. MDAH Historic Resources Inventory identifies the Community Center as c. 1935, located on Community House Road. I located one news item referencing the community center. The Hattiesburg American, Nov. 6, 1935, p. 8 reported on a number of WPA projects that were approved for Mississippi, including $1,667 to construct the Lauderdale Community Center, pictured to the far left in the photograph below.
The Lauderdale Consolidated School’s vocational building next door was constructed in 1937-1938 by the National Youth Administration as WP 4268 and contained a shop and a classroom.
Both the Lauderdale Community Center and Vocational Building are still extant as seen in this 2018 google map view.
The land was cleared (top left photo) using a horse-drawn implement known by various names depending on the model. The implement on the right (horse facing away) appears to be a drag scraper, which could also be called a buck scraper or slip scraper. The one on the left (horse facing camera, resembles the Fresno scraper, although it was designed to be pulled by two horses. Both required manual assistance from the human.
The concrete was mixed on site as evidenced in the top photo to the right above. It looks as if they were mixing for concrete block foundation (see along the right side of the foundation edge) but the lack of clarity in the photo makes it difficult to determine with certainty.
In 1937, James Butler McIvis was director of the vocational agriculture program at Lauderdale High School.
The first Lauderdale Consolidated School listed in the MDAH Historic Resources Inventory was constructed c. 1900, a two-story building at unnamed location. The subsequent listing of Lauderdale School Complex was on Lauderdale Road, in the same location as the 1951 gymnasium, pictured to the right above. The google map view shows remnants of concrete slabs, and an unidentified metal building is in the location of the former gymnasium. Lauderdale School II (pictured on the left above) was designed in 1947 by architect Christopher C. Risher, Sr., and constructed by Vining and Kling, a Meridian based company who also built the Union school 1947 classroom, gymnasium, and alterations to the existing building (Union Appeal, Sep. 18, 1947, p. 1). Chris Risher was also architect for the Union school (Clarion-Ledger, Sep. 21, 1947, p. 25). Both Vining & Kling and Risher were active in building projects throughout Mississippi. Risher’s 1947 Lauderdale school had completed the foundation and begun the outside walls in late February for a replacement for the former building destroyed by fire.