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Training School


TrainingSchool.jpgOpened: August 31, 1902
Destroyed by Fire: January 9, 1933
Cost: $45,000

The original training school was one of the first buildings constructed on campus when it opened on August 31, 1902. It was built at a cost of $45,000. During its existence, it housed the industrial arts department as well as the college elementary school, where teacher education students worked with the children of Mount Pleasant citizens and Central faculty. However, in 1933, only a few years after the disastrous Old Main fire, the training school was completely destroyed in a blaze that reportedly started in the paint room. Besides the building itself, over five thousand books disappeared in the fire along with $9,000 in equipment belonging to the industrial arts. Several faculty members lost entire libraries when their offices were destroyed.

Within days, a crew of students and local workers were hired to clean up the site. In total, 36 students and 90 local workmen had the site completely cleared by the end of January 1933, with the exception of an estimated 125,000 bricks that survived the fire. By February 1, the college had announced plans to construct a new training school building on the site of the destroyed structure. The state authorized $75,000 for the construction of the new building, the amount guaranteed by the insurance on the old training school. Construction was underway by late spring. Crews used many of the bricks leftover from the old building in the walls of the new training school. The new building, now known as Smith Hall, opened in May 1934, just over a year since the fire that destroyed the original training school.