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Schools Convert Camp White Nurses Barracks into Classrooms

Post-war families were pouring into the Rogue Valley in 1947, their children crowding Central Point Elementary School.  There just wasn’t enough classroom space to handle them.

 
Things changed the next year.  When school started in Central Point, Ore., there were brand new broad-board wooden buildings with restrooms, hall coat pegs and shelves, and large “temporary” classrooms with high windows. The Central Point School District got the buildings by successfully bidding on several nurses’ barracks from decommissioned Camp White.
 
The War Assets Administration had held auctions in 1947 for buildings on the Camp White grounds.  Each building was given a number and paper bids were collected with the high bidder getting the key to a building, a permit to enter the base, and permission to take down the building and haul it away. The school district turned its buildings into classrooms.
 
All over the Rogue Valley, nearly 1,000 camp buildings became schools, warehouses, shops and homes. Central Point Elementary School’s “temporary” classrooms served students for 55 years before being torn down in 2003.
 

 
 
Sources: "Camp White Buildings Awarded to 85 Medford People, Companies, Organizations." Medford Mail Tribune 8 May 1947.  "Camp Buildings Sold At Rate Of One Per Minute." Medford Mail Tribune 27 July 1947: 1.  Recollections of the author.
 

Alice Mullaly is a graduate of Oregon State and Stanford University, and taught mathematics for 42 years in high schools in Nyack, New York; Mill Valley, California; and Hedrick Junior High School in Medford. Alice has been an Southern Oregon Historical Society volunteer for nearly 30 years, the source of many of her “As It Was” stories.