Part 4
Glendale Junior College:
The First Decade, 1927-37

Construction
But the struggle to build the new campus was far from over. Victory at the polls was only 55 percent of the battle. Federal funding still had to be secured, otherwise the bonds could not be sold and the college would be doomed to tents indefinitely. And to be eligible for PWA matching funds, the school board would have to purchase the site, have soil tests made, architectural drawings completed, landscaping planned and construction begun-all within 60 days. "It would be a large order even if all the financing was assured," a News-Press columnist pointed out.66

The board got back to work two days after the election by discussing the location of buildings and athletic fields on the new campus.67  The initial campus would consist of four buildings: a 24,000 square-foot Administration Building, a 12,000 square-foot Science Building and men's and women's locker rooms, together totaling 6960 square feet. This plant would have 32 classrooms and laboratories.68  Space would be set aside for a student-funded student union, auditorium, liberal arts and classroom buildings.69

Architect George M. Lindsey brought a basic design question to the board of education and the junior college committee: should the new campus have a modern or California Spanish design? A majority of the trustees and committee members preferred the Spanish style. Furthermore, a letter from Superintendent of Parks J.T. Allen recommended the Spanish design, noting that it would match the style of a new public swimming pool and recreation hall to be built across the street.70  The board officially chose the Spanish style on Nov. 12.71

The student body leaders had no problems with the architectural style of the campus, the layout of buildings, the schedule of completion or the order in which the campus buildings would be constructed. But they were still wary of earthquakes ... and construction projects that went to the low-bidder. They didn't want another temblor to knock GJC back into tents. Said a Galleon editorial:

We must find a way, either by means of a students' engineering committee, a trustworthy citizens committee, or by the hiring of a competent architect by the student body, to make sure that our new school is constructed exactly in accordance with the plans which have been approved by the state and federal engineers.72
There is no record as to whether the students ultimately trusted the school board to make sure that GJC was getting its money's worth. However, throughout the construction process students were kept informed through an ongoing column entitled "Our Woodland Campus."
 

After the election, GJC students were kept up to date on the new campus through the Galleon. Many students were keenly interested in the new campus, even though it was scheduled to open long after they graduated.

This spread is from the issue of Nov. 20, 1935.

Meantime, the students had some stylistic changes to make. In keeping with the Spanish architecture of the new campus, the Buccaneer mascot was keelhauled in favor of the Vaquero (some of the other names considered by the students were Yuccas, Vandals and Gringos). The Galleon and Log respectively, were renamed the El Vaquero and La Reata. School colors were changed from orange and black to maroon and gold. Songs, yells and names of clubs were changed.

Construction of the new campus ran a little over budget and a bit behind schedule, which wasn't bad since planning for these federally-subsidized Depression-era projects tended to be wildly optimistic. The proposed $355,000 price tag grew to $398,000, with the extra costs being split between the federal government and the school district.
 

The new campus of Glendale Junior College was only weeks away from opening for its first full semester in this 1937 photo. The Verdugo Wash and the Keyhole Pool are near the bottom of the photo.

While some of the federal money paid for outside contractors, much of the federally-subsidized help consisted of laborers from the county relief rolls. Among other things, these workers built retaining walls, excavated the athletic fields, graded the lawns, cleared brush, planted shrubbery, installed sprinklers and built a sidewalk in front of the college.73

Although the campus had been originally projected to open Feb. 1, 1937, the granite cornerstone wasn't laid until April 7. Behind the cornerstone was a copper box into which were placed copies of newspapers with articles about the bond election, the day's program, student publications and other papers.74

On May 21, 1937 students, teachers and administrators said goodbye to the Harvard campus. The day included running through sprinklers, "pushing cars hither and yon to decorate the campus" and a four-hour dance marathon. "The tent city gang won't know how to act with solid walls around them," the "Campus Chatter" column chided. "It's going to be hard having nothing except classwork to pay attention to during classes."75

 But the students adjusted pretty quickly. "It was quite a thrill to get into decent classrooms," Florine Andrews remembered, "to get into the campus of the future."
 

Administration building shortly after the opening of the new campus on May 21, 1937.

 

Endnotes

 1"Junior College Celebrates," Los Angeles Times, May 25, 1937.
 2"Starts Move for Junior College," Glendale News-Press, May 14, 1926.
 3Associated Students Hand Book, 1930-31 (Glendale Junior College, 1931),  p. 18.
 4Chester B. Lynch,  A History of Glendale College (thesis, Glendale College Archive, 1987), p. 11.
 5Interview of Georgia Marie Threlkeld, January 28, 1997.
 6Interview of Contine Katharine S. McNamara, October 1, 1996.
 7The Log (Associated Students, Glendale Junior College, 1930),  p. 6.
 8The Log(Associated Students, Glendale Junior College, 1928), p. 14.
 9Ibid, p. 13.
10The Log (1930),  p. 7.
11Associated Students Handbook, 1931-32 (Associated Students, Glendale Junior College, 1931).
12The Log (1930),  p. 16.
13"Airplane Given Junior College for Class Use,"  Glendale News-Press, February 25, 1931.
14The Log (1930),  p. 101.
15"Alumni Honored In First Annual Homecoming Celebration," The Galleon, October 31, 1930.
16The Log (1928),  p. 39.
17Interview of Florine Andrews, November 18, 1996.
18The Log (1930),  p. 7.
19"Announce Plans for Annual Snow Party Ramble,"  The Galleon, January 21, 1931.
20"Four New Teachers Added to Last Year's Staff," ibid., September 8, 1930.
21Interview of Tedford Andrews, November 18, 1996.
22"Four New Teachers Added to Last Year's Staff," The Galleon, September 8, 1930.
23The Log (1930),  p. 11.
24Interview of Contine Katharine S. McNamara, October 1, 1996.
25Social Usage (Compiled by Faculty and Student Social Committee, 1934-35),  p. 3.
26"A.S.B. Invite New Students," The Galleon, September 17, 1930.
27Interview of Dr. Laurence Chandler, November 4, 1996.
28"Sophomores Submit Orders of Infallible Court of Inquisition," The Galleon, September 17, 1930.
29Letter from Dale Trowbridge to the author, January 13, 1997.
30Verdugo Vistas (Glendale College, 1939),  p. 6.
31"Frosh-Sophs Clash Friday,"  The Galleon, September 17, 1930.
32"W.A.A. Picnic Scene of Initiation Event," ibid., October 8, 1930.
33Lynch, A History of Glendale College,  p. 20.
34Untitled clipping,  The Galleon, February 13, 1934, on file at the Glendale Public Library.
35Interview of Elizabeth Talbot-Martin, November 11, 1996.
36Interview of Dale Trowbridge, November 12, 1996.
37"Campus Comment,"  The Galleon, April 15, 1931.
38Verdugo Vistas (Glendale College Archive, 1939),  p. 17.
39"A Charity Football Game,"  The Galleon, October 21, 1931.
40"Inspect Buildings to Check Possible Damage,"  Glendale News-Press, March 11, 1933.
41"Shoddy Building," ibid., March 16, 1933.
42Interview of Burnell Yarick, November 7, 1996.
43Interview of Ray Edwards, January 13, 1997.
44Lynch,  A History of Glendale College,  p. 45.
45"Boots! Boots!"  The Galleon, October 11, 1935.
46Verdugo Vistas  (Glendale College Archive, 1939),  p. 12.
47Assemblies were also held in the Masonic Hall on Brand Boulevard.
48The possibility of the college being discontinued was mentioned in an untitled clipping from The Galleon, February 13, 1934.
49"What Makes a Desirable Campus?"  ibid., 11 October 1935.
50"A Bargain!"  ibid.
51"Now or Never-It's Up to You,"  ibid., September 25, 1935.
52"Student Aid Is Praised,"  ibid., October 23, 1935.
53"Publicity Head,"  ibid., October 11, 1935.
54"Civics Classes Canvass Bond Issue Voters," ibid., October 11, 1935.
55"Paper Plays Leading Role,"  ibid. October 23, 1935.
56"Soph Prexy Makes Frosh Dink Holiday,"  ibid., October 11, 1935.
57"Voters Canvassed on College Bonds,"  Glendale News-Press, October 11, 1935.
58"Community's Future Progress Rests with Its Citizenship,"  ibid., October 14, 1935.
59"Board Plans Bond Parade,"  The Galleon, October 11, 1935.
60"College Bonds Approved by 4-1 Margin,"  Glendale News-Press, October 16, 1935.
61"Invalid Pastor Casts Vote in Bond Election,"  ibid., October 16, 1935.
62"Alexander Theatre Gives Election News,"  The Galleon, October 23, 1935.
63"Students Close College to Celebrate Bond Victory," Glendale News-Press, October 16, 1935.
64"... Strictly Confidential,"  ibid., October 17, 1935.
65"Five-Dollar Flowers," The Galleon, October 23, 1935.
66"The Local Roundup,"  Glendale News-Press, October 16, 1935.
67"College Bonds Approved by a 4-1 Margin,"  ibid., October 16, 1935.
68Untitled clipping,  ibid., October 9, 1935.
69"Four Buildings to be Ready on Feb. 1,"  ibid., May 26, 1936.
70"Board to Study Spanish, Modern School Designs,"  ibid., October 30, 1935.
71"Board Takes Formal Action to Build Two Units, Accepts Architect's Offer of Detailed Work,"  ibid., November 13, 1935.
72"The Student's College,"  The Galleon, March 11, 1936.
73Interview of William Creech, National Archives, December 10, 1996.
74"Educators, Students Take Part,"  Glendale News-Press, April 8, 1937.
75"Campus Chatter," ibid., May 24, 1937.

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