The Greenwood High School gymnasium was nearing completion under the Works Progress Administration (WPA) as it was known to a pre-war generation of Americans.
It was being reported in the “Bulldog Spotlight” newspaper, a school paper being organized for teams 1938-1939. A news staff was elected to organize the Greenwood school newspaper.
The name “Bulldog Spotlight” was submitted by Tommie Robison and chosen for the name. Work on the Greenwood High School gymnasium stated on March 26, 1937, shut down on June 30th and stated up again after workers were hired by the WPA. Supervisor of the WPA project was V. A. Gramlich, the school newspaper stated.
There was steady work in the Greenwood area for 32 men. The cost of the High School gym was $32,000. $7,000 less than gymnasiums of this type of construction of which some of them still stands today, all due to the Works Progress Administration (WPA) crews and the supervision of the WPA project.
The Greenwood gym consisting of a seating capacity of 2,500, containing 2 class rooms, a music room, band room, stage and bleachers. Also, a basketball court, heating unit, a basement, 5 showers and 9 lockers. A stage to be used for Play Practice, Expression and Auditorium subjects.
The WPA was born on March 21, 1935, a first term vision of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, whose primary vision at the time was to put America’s 5 million able-bodied but destitute unemployed back to work.
Soon WPA projects were thriving in all states. Employment for millions during the Great Depression. The WPA started paving rural roads benefiting the farmers so they could get their crops to market.
WPA hired 8.5 million workers and spent 11 million dollars over a period of 8 years to pave highways, to build and repair bridges.
The project hired carpenters to build creative landmarks and workers to serve lunches to school children.
The “Bulldog Spotlight” also reported that a sidewalk project got underway on July 20, 1938 under the sponsorship of the National Youth Administration (NYA) and work of Greenwood townspeople under the supervision of W. B. Carter. Sidewalks were built on both sides from school to downtown Greenwood.
The WPA folded after the start of the war devoting itself mostly to military related projects. With unemployment at zero, WPA lost it’s reason for survival ending in 1943, credited with hiring able-bodied but destitute men in the building and completion of landmarks such as LaGuardia in New York and Washington’s Reagan national Municipal airport. Also, on the list is: Camp David, San Antiono’s River Walk and the Cow Palace in San Francisco.
Greenwood’s High school gymnasium… where the first time in history of Greenwood schools the WPA project made it possible for the basketball players and the citizens of Greenwood to boast of an adequate indoor 42 feet by 74 feet basketball court.