Central School celebrates diamond anniversary
by Sam Matthews
Oct 11, 2013 | 2874 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Central School celebrates 75 years
Central School paraprofessional Brenda Hutton (right) takes a photo of staff members, former teachers and alumni who gathered for the school’s 75th anniversary on Wednesday, Oct. 9.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Students at Central School, some sitting and others standing in the school playground, joined together Wednesday, Oct. 9, to sing “Happy Birthday” to their school.

The musical birthday greeting was part of a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the oldest elementary school in the Tracy Unified School District.

Principal Nancy Link conducted the program, which included brief remarks by Superintendent Dr. James Franco and Mayor Pro Tem Michael Maciel.

Franco noted the long history of the school, which was dedicated on Oct. 9, 1938, and opened on Nov. 14 of that year.

“Central has a long tradition of quality education,” Franco said. “You are fortunate to be attending a school like this.”

Maciel issued congratulations from the city of Tracy.

Link invited students, parents and former teachers and students to watch a video presentation in the school auditorium. The presentation featured interviews of former students by a panel of today’s students.

Refreshments, including a birthday cake, were served in the auditorium.

The 75-year-old kindergarten-fifth grade school, when opened in 1938, replaced the original Central School, which had been in operation on Central Avenue for 26 years beginning in 1912.

In 1926, the Tracy Hotel Corp., a local citizens’ corporation developing the Tracy Inn, purchased a portion of the school playground to make way for the hotel at 11th Street and Central Avenue.

The $27,000 received by the Tracy Elementary School District for sale of the property was used to purchase land at the corner of Parker and Eaton avenues, where the new school was located.

After a $50,000 bond issue was approved by district voters early in 1938, construction by the Tornell Construction Co. of Tracy was started in March.

With a final price tag of $53,000, the new school was scheduled to open at the beginning of the school year in September, but construction delays postponed the opening.

The new school, which had kindergarten-through-fourth-grade classes at the outset, included six classrooms, a small auditorium-cafeteria, an office and rooms for teachers and the school nurse.

Elsie Salcido, who had been Central School principal since 1927, continued in that capacity at the new school and as second-grade teacher.

Over the years, additional classrooms, fifth-grade classes and a new auditorium have been added to the school.

In the next few years, money from a local bond issue coupled with state funds will be used to bring electrical and plumbing systems up to present-day standards.

•Contact Sam Matthews at 830-4234 or shm@tracypress.com.

 
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