Lanark Community Unit High School
January 11, 12, 13, 1952
Lanark Illinois

This booklet was contributed by Cecille Gerber, the Museum Director of the
The Tiskilwa Historical Society (Bureau Co IL)

It surfaced in materials that had to do with the building of an addition on our local grade school in 1955.
Our school in Tisk was designed by the same architect, William Stuhr.
Many thanks to Cecelia for sharing this with us

The only high school building of its kind in this part of the State of Illinois, the Lanark Community Unit High School exemplifies another major achievement of the people of the Lanark community.

The town of Lanark lies in the Rock Creek Township of Carroll County. This township was first settled by David Becker in the year of 1884. As soon as it became apparent that a railroad would pass through this part of the township, the town grew rapidly. The town was laid out with one block designated as a public park and one for the uses of a public school house.

Lanark was only four years old when the people moved to erect a school house. When the people came to consider the building of the school house, a controversy arose between the people and the railroad that resulted in the building of the school house in an entirely different location.

On January 26, 1867, the Board of Education employed Alexander Smith, architect and builder from Chicago, to erect the building. On May 8 of the same year the people voted to purchase a lot from Emanuel Stover for $750. On this lot a three story brick structure was erected and designated as the Lanark Public School. The total cost of the building and grounds was $15,000. Mr. F. T. Oldt was the principal of the high school when the first class graduated in 1876. The building was destroyed by fire and it was rebuilt in 1887. This building still stands and is now the Lanark Community Unit Grade School.

From the time of the first building to the present the people of the Lanark community have shown a steady interest in education. As the community grew in size and needs, so did the school grow. An addition to the second building was built in 1912 and a gymnasium was added in 1928. These two buildings housed the high school students of the town until the high school moved into the new building on September 8, 1951.

The new building achieves new standards in multiple use of space by the entire student and adult community, in provision for ideal teaching and activity facilities, and in design of structure and equipment for minimum maintenance and construction cost.

Behind the tangible evidence of a beautiful, functional and usable structure lies an inspiring story of united action by a "progressive community, carried out by two school boards and two superintendents who sought to provide urgently needed secondary school facilities.

The first official step in the new program was taken on July 23, 1945, when the Boards of Education of the Lanark Grade School District No. 43 and the Lanark Community High School District No. 205 voted to seek state assistance in building a new high school. Mr. Cervin and Mr. Stuhr, architects from Rock Island, were engaged to draw preliminary plans in order that government aid could be sought. The High School Board of Education, then composed of Mr. Russell Rahn, president, Mr. Arthur Kniss, secretary, Mr. Ralph Flickinger, Mr. Homer Zuck and Dr. C. F. Isenberger, visited several new schools in the community in search for the latest and most functional information in regard to school buildings. Mr. Leonard Wierson led this group as Superintendent of

Schools. After completing a set of preliminary plans, they instructed Mr. Robert Morris, attorney for the school, to work through the office of Chapman and Cutler of Chicago in preparing the legal work relating to the acquisition of a site, purchase of land, and the issuing of bonds to cover the costs of the site and construction. An option was given on the first tract of land by Mrs. Albertine Heckman on May 27, 1946.

In the fall of 1946 Mr. E. K. Graham was employed as Superintendent of Schools to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Mr. Wierson. Mr. Cervin and Mr. Stuhr were given a contract for the construction of the new building and plans proceeded rapidly.

On March 1, 1947, the people of the Lanark community went to the polls and voted on propositions to select a site, to purchase the site and to give the Board of Education the right to build on the site. These three propositions carried by a three-to-one margin. The site chosen was the present location consisting of 20.67 acres and composed of eight tracts of land.

Having all ready received notice that the Federal Government had granted us $8700 for advanced planning, Mr. Morris was given the authority to purchase the various tracts of land represented in the site. When an agreement could not be reached with the majority of the land owners of the tracts, condemnation proceedings were started on August 28, 1947.

Realizing that this was a community project and that the community should have a voice in the matter, the Board of Education of the Lanark Community High School District asked that an advisory committee be formed in the community. Such a committee was soon formed among the various organizations of the community. Work was then started on the bond issue. Mr. E. E. Johnson of the Exchange State Bank of Lanark prepared a sample bond maturity date schedule which was approved by the Board of Education and the advisory committee. The proposition was presented to the voters at an election held on February 7, 1948. The proposition to issue bonds in the amount of $400,000 was approved by a two-to-one vote. Bids were opened on these bonds on June 8 and the contract was awarded to the First State Bank of Shannon and the Exchange State Bank of Lanark. The first $200,000 were to carry an interest rate of 2% percent and the second $200.000 to carry a rate of 2% percent.

Standing: Homer Zuck, Dr. C.F. Isenberger
Seated: Ralph Flickinger, Arthur Kniss, Russell Rahn

On January 15, 1949 the Lanark Community voted to join all of the rural districts of the community and the high school district into the Lanark Community Unit District No. 305 under the control of one Board of Education. Seven farmers of the community were elected to compose this Board of Education. We were fortunate to secure the services of Mr. Stanley Finifrock, a former administrator, as president, Mr. Russell Lamoreux, a former teacher of agriculture, as secretary, Mr. Rex Rahn, Chairman of the Carroll County Survey Committee, Mr. Nello Hardacre, Mr. Thomas Diffenderfer, Mr. Leo Lotz, and Mr. Harry Tallman. This group immediately joined the Community High School Board of Education in working on the plans for the new building.

The superintendent of schools and the faculty prepared a detailed educational program, embodying advanced concepts of "learning by doing" and integration of arts, sciences, mathematics, vocations, physical education and activities with the basic academic program.

The architects carried out detailed research of the whole educational program. The teachers and students in each department were interviewed on educational philosophies, space requirements and individual preferences on facilities and equipment. Representatives from the school and advisory committee appeared before many of the group meetings in the community and discussed the needs of the school and the plans for meeting these needs. Every person in the community had one or more opportunities to hear the program discussed.

The actual work on the project began on May 9, 1949 when the bid for grading and drainage of the Elston Construction Company of Rock Island was accepted. The bid for drainage was $7,849.25 and the grading was accepted on a time and material basis.

By this time the architects had translated the program into specific recommendations for amount and organization of space for each department and integration of these requirements into the plan of a modest, expansible building. Building consultants from the University of Illinois, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Board for Vocational Education, County Superintendent of Schools and the Fire Underwriters had been interviewed. The Board of Education and the advisory committee had visited several new-buildings in the community. The amount of the bond issue was deemed adequate so the plans for the building were approved and accepted.

Bids for the construction of the school were opened on August 15, 1950. The contract for general construction was given to T. S. Willis of Janesville, Wisconsin, for $272,698, the electrical contract to Don Morse Electrical Contractors of Freeport, Illinois, for $17,165, the plumbing contract to Lock-hart Plumbing and Heating Company of Moline, Illinois, for $22,171, and the heating contract to Nelson Piping Company of Rockford, Illinois, for $48,840. Later additions brought the total contract price to $364,657. Since the building contains 568.530 cubic feet and 37,645 square feet of space, this represents a construction cost of 64 1/2 cent per cubic foot and $9.70 per square foot.

Construction started on September 6, 1950, under the supervision of Mr. Stuhr. Because of poor health Mr. Cervin' had withdrawn from the firm. Mr. Stuhr was ably assisted by Mr. Howard Parkhurst and Mr. Walter Mogler. Under their watchful eyes construction progressed rapidly. Work,-was to have been completed by July 15, 1951, but the inevitable happened and the building was not completed until winter.

The academic building contains twelve classrooms, two shops, a library, administrative offices, a health room, a cafeteria and community room, two teachers' rooms, and a book room.

Of special interest is the careful programming and planning that makes possible maximum "dual purpose" use of the high school facilities for shop work and drafting. These facilities join each other under the gymnasium and provide for multiple use of power tools for both agriculture and industrial arts. They also have a community entrance which facilitates use by adults without opening, heating, and lighting the entire building.

Equally accessible to the community is the cafeteria, planned for adult as well as student use. It has an adjoining room which will serve as an addition to the cafeteria or as a stage for community programs. This room is equipped with a television set presented to the school by Mr. Harlan Downs of Lanark. The kitchen also adjoins the cafeteria and it is equipped as a complete kitchenette, adequate for serving PTA meetings, dances, social gatherings and community groups using these facilities.

The gymnasium is located over the shops and music rooms and directly connected with the main lobby of the building. The gym is equipped with three basketball courts and provisions have been made for other group and individual games for physical education classes. The main basketball court is a regulation floor with folding bleachers on each side large enough to seat 1072 people without the use of the stage which is located at the end of the floor. The gym is equipped with a separate public address system to be used for basketball games and other programs. Three dressing rooms and showers are located under the gym but easily accessible to it. The locker section contains instructors' offices and storage room for equipment.

The library, architecturally, is one of the most attractive in any school of our size. The east window, a full wall of glass, takes advantage of the beauty of the site. The other walls are all made of oak plywood finished in natural color. The library has a small adjoining room for group work and individual study.

The home economics room is another very beautiful spot. This room differs from the other rooms in that the cupboards are all made of birch plywood finished in natural color. The unit kitchens are of four different colors each chosen to give the effect of a bright and individual kitchen.

The music department located at the extreme east end of the ground floor consists of one large room for band and chorus and four small rooms for individual and small group practice and instrument storage.

Each of the other classrooms is equipped with green chalkboard, tack board, open adjustable book shelves, cupboard space and teachers' wardrobe. These rooms are also finished in natural oak.

High standards of visual comfort and efficiency are attained through maximum use of daylight and recessed incandescent lighting in the classrooms and laboratories.

For economy in construction and maintenance, walls are of concrete and cinder block, some of which have been painted in warm pastel colors. The ceilings are low and most of the classroom ceilings are equipped with fire-resistant acoustical tile. The main hallway is also equipped with acoustical tile and has a steel door which may be lowered in order to close off most of the academic wing during programs. The walls of this hallway are made of oak plywood and finished in natural color with all lockers recessed.

The entire building is equipped with a public address system for ease in administrative control. This system also controls the loading zone for the busses. The cafeteria and community room has a separate amplifier like the gymnasium.

Russell Lamoreux, Thomas Diffenderfer, Nello Hardacre, Stanley Finifrock, Harry Tallman, Rex Rahn, Leo Lotz

The exterior design of the building is determined primarily by the logical, functional organization of the interior and the contour of the site. The simple contemporary lines, flat roofs, combination red brick and stone trim blend well with the country side. The combination one and two story construction blends well with the contour of the site. In keeping with the current trend in school architecture, monumental decoration is eliminated from the building. Money which so many schools waste on monumental design is invested instead on the interior - on facilities for building better citizens.

The grounds provide ample room for a football field, a practice field for football and physical education classes, a ball diamond, tennis courts and parking facilities for 235 cars. The football field is located in a bowl. When the weather is good most of the fans can watch the football games from their cars by parking them around the top of the bowl. A place has been designated for a bus garage to be built in the future.

The Lanark Community Unit District contains about 101 square miles and has an assessed valuation of $13,000,000. There are 135 students enrolled in this high school 'and 360 students in the Lanark Community Unit Grade School. All rural schools have been closed this year and all students transported to town in nine school buses. The unit district has been in operation 2 1/2 years and has been under the control of the same Board of Education and administrator during that time.

Left: Leonard I. Wierson - Supt. of Schools until 1946
Right: S.K. Graham - Supt. of Schools 1946 - 1952

Friday, January 11, 1952
Between Frosh-Soph and Varsity Games


Presiding: Harry Tallman, Secretary, Board of Education

Star Spangled Banner -- Lanark Community Unit High School
Pep Band, Theodore Kinnaman, Conductor

Invocation .... Reverend David Melbye - Lanark Lutheran Church

Dedication Address .... Albert L. Willis
Executive Secy. Illinois High School Association

Presentation of Mt. Morris High School Basketball squad,
J.R. Worley, Coach

Presentation of Lanark High School Basketball squad,
Arthur Rostron, Coach

School Loyalty Song --- Band, Cheerleaders, Audience

Saturday, January 12, 1952 -- 7:30 - 10:00 P.M.


The Board of Education, Faculty and Student Body cordially
invite you to visit and enjoy the many features of our new
high school building on this occassion.

E.K. Graham ... Superintendent of Schools .. Office
Donald Kaufman ... Vocational Agriculture ... Room 12
Theodore Kinnaman... Vocal and Instrumental Music ... 15
Arthur Rostron ... Industrial Arts, Physical Education, Coaching ... 17
Lois Leisson ... Physical Education ... Gym
George Bergdall ... Mathematics, Physics ... 21
Warren Strohecker ... Biology, Chemistry, General Science ... 23
Bruce Peterson ... Social Science ...24
Ruth Feldman ... English, Latin, Library ... 25
Lois Clark ... English, Speech, Dramatics ... 26
Ella Sue Beck ... Home Economics ... 27
Bruce Shank ... Commerce ... 28
Alice Ackermann ... Secretary to Superintendent ... Office
Boyd Barber ... Custodian of Building
Andy Weisz ... Custodian of Ground

Home Economics Classes - P.T.A.

Sunday, January 13, 1952 - 2:30 P.M.


"Triumphal March" -- Lanark Community Unit High School Band/Theodore Kinnaman Conductor

Presiding: Stanley Finifrock, President, Board of Education

Invocation -- Rev. J.D. Hamel / Lanark First Brethren Church

"Seeds of Cadmus" - Lanark Community Unit High School Band

" Introduction of Special Guests:

Scripture -- Rev. Walter Bowman - Lanark Church of the Brethren

Greetings From:
Harry Lowman - Mayor, City of Lanark
Lawrence Brudi - County Superintendent of Schools
Eldon Findley - Assistant Supt. of Public Instruction
William Stuhr - Architect
E.K. Graham - Supt. of Lanark Com. Unit School

Dedicatory Statement - Thomas Diffenderfer / Chairman Building Committee

The Dedication Address - Vernon L. Nickell / State Supt. of Public Instruction

"Oh Lord, We Worship Thee" -
"Cherubim Song " - Lanark Com. Unit H igh School Mixed Chorus

Benediction - Rev. Alfred Boyer / Lanark Methodist Church



William Stuhr, Architect
Howard Parkhurst, Asst. to Architect
Walter Mogler, Engineer
T.S. Willis, General Contractor
Nelson Piping Co., Heating Contractor
Lockhart Plumbing and Heating, Plumbing Contractor
Don Morse Electric Contractor
Elston Construction Co., Grading and Drainage Contractor

Farm Bureau: Milton Hess, Clinton Plock, Earl Burkholder

Home Bureau: Mrs. E.C. Champion, Mrs. Harvey Downing, Mrs. John Bowers

Commercial Club: Ted Werdin, Rudolph Amling, Mrs. Don Brown

Mothers Club: Mrs. Vincent Olson, Mrs. Robert Lichty

Womens Club: Mrs. Ben Mathias, Mrs. Roswell Packard

P.T.A.: Wayne Deets, Joe Piesen, Mrs. Joy Sword

American Legion: Carlton Cheek, Clyde Rury

Supervisors: John Warner, Otho Bloyer

City Council: Harry Lowman, Elmer Johnson

Survey Committee: Rex Rahn

Attorney: Robert Morris

Grange: Nathaniel Martz, Harold Manning

Erected and equipped by the taxpayers of this school district as evidence of their faith in
the American system of public education, this building is dedicated to the complete development of the
children of the community and to their growth in the understanding of the ideals and practices of
Christian living and American citizenship.