The most significant development during Fast’s tenure was the construction and opening of the Charles W. Dalrymple Elementary school, serving the southern portion of the city. The need for an elementary school in the area had been growing. Already by the mid-1910s, the school system had been renting two private homes to hold classes, and was using the extra seating at the South Ward School in order to take care of the increasing number of students.
In April 1916, the board of education had purchased a large tract of land for $8,000 from Hattie (Dalrymple) Day, daughter of thelate Mr. Charles W. Dalrymple. The land was located between N. Ann Street and Dalrymple Boulevard. Construction on the two story brick schoolhouse with ample windows and spacious rooms began in September 1916, by Frederick W. Schumacher, a local contractor. The total cost for the project was $50,000. The building was not completed however, until the end of 1917.
By popular vote, the school was named in memory of Charles W. Dalrymple, who holds the record as the longest serving school board member in the district’s history. The school was opened on January 2, 1918. In addition to the six elementary grades, space was given for a seventh grade class. Although the board had hired L. S. Gray, a graduate of Western State Normal School at Kalamazoo as principal, the school had not opened for the first semester of the 1917-18 school year, and thus he was not employed. The first principal of Dalrymple School was actually Emma Hallberg. she had been hired by the local school board on December 22, 1917, at a salary of seventy-five dollars per month. She served only one term, and was replaced on June 3, 1918 by Mrs. L. B. Niles.
A large number of European immigrants settled in Albion during the 1910s. They had come to work in the various industries located here, especially at the Albion Malleable Iron Company, and at the Gale Manufacturing Company. Their coming created an influx of new students, most of whom had no knowledge of the English language. Special classes were established to help these students. A night school was instituted at Austin School for adults wishing to learn the English language and other subjects. Attendance at the adult school cost a monthly fee of $3.00 (1917-1918).
A bond issue was passed on April 20, 1950 by a vote of 468 to 124, for $350,000 for the erection of an addition to Dalrymple School, and the construction of a new elementary school on the north side of town. At Dalrymple, six classrooms and a gymnasium-auditorium were added, along with a kitchen and a new heating plant. The cost of the Dalrymple project was $268,500. the new addition was opened on April 8, 1952.
Architect for the Dalrymple project was the Warren S. Holmes Company of Lansing. General contractor was the North-Moller Company of Jackson. The Hunter-Prell Company of Battle Creek installed the heating and plumbing, while the Vandenburg Electric Company of Jackson installed the electric wiring.
Dalrymple School, built in 1916 and plagued by maintenance problems that would havecost $554,000, was closed permanently in June 1982. To accommodate students from Dalrymple School, Crowell School was reopened in September 1982.
Dalrymple School 1920s photograph.
Source: Frank Passic. A History of the Albion Public Schools. Albion, Michigan: E. Weil Publishing Services. 1991.