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Plans and suggestions for New Mexico rural school buildings online

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Hollinger Corp.


New Mexico Rural School Buildings

Issued by the State Department of Education, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Jonathan H. Wagner, State Superintendent of Public Instruction

"We have two great branches of architectural virtue, and we require of any building:—

1. That it ACT WELL, and do the things it was intended to do in the best way.

2. That it LOOK WELL, and please us by its presence, whatever it has to do."

"All works of quality must bear a price in proportion to the sldll, time, expense, and risk at-
tending their invention and manufacture. Those things called dear are, when justly estimated,
the cheapest. A composition for cheapness and not for excellence of workmanship is the most
frequent and certain cause of the rapid decay and entire destruction of art and manufacture."

— John Ruskin.







"PHERE IS LITTLE that needs to be said by way of introduction to these plans and suggestions for New Mexico Public School
Buildings. One of the most valuable publications ever sent out from the Department of Education was one similar to this one
issued by the Territorial Department of Education under the direction of the Territorial Superintendent, Mr. James E. Clark,
in 1909. During my administration from time to time, many calls have been made for these designs and suggestions by school
officials and architects, and we have been able to accommodate many. That supply is now exhausted and to meet the continu-
ally increasing demand for plans and suggestions of sanitary, convenient, and artistic school buildings this publication is sent
out from the Department of Education with confidence that it will result in better school buildings in our state.

In the preparation of this book, we have consulted not only similar publications from the educational departments of the
various states in the Union, but we have conferred with close observing practical school men and architects in order that this
book may be of real service. Much of the subject matter has been prepared under the direction of Teachers' College, Columbia
University, in the Department of Rural School Administration, and we have embodied the rules governing the sanitation of pub-
lic buildings as promulgated by the State Board of Health in New Mexico. I am indebted to many sources for the suggestions,
the material in plans and suggestions and the drawings and designs in this book, but more especially to the members of the
Department of Education, who realizing the demand for this book have given their best efforts.

Santa Fe, New Mexico, June 1st, 1920. State Superintendent of Public Instruction.


I. The School Grounds.

Beautiful, well kept school grounds are an indication of a progressive community; and money invested in school property
brings returns in enhanced farm values, and in a happier, richer life for children as well as adults.

The schoolhouse should be located on the best plot of ground to be secured in the district provided it isn't too far from the
center of the community and has the advantage of the best roads. The fact that the district already has a site is no reason why
it should not be changed if a better one is obtainable.

The grounds, which should contain at least two acres, must be well drained, must contain water supply if possible ; and
should provide for school gardening if older children are expected to attend school. Hence a rocky, wind-swept bit of land
which is of no use for anything else will not be a satisfactory school location. Care must also be taken in the mountainous
sections lest hillsides or trees shut out the light supply.

Beautifying the school grounds by means of trees and shrubbery seems a hopeless task in many parts of the state but even
sage brush and cactus can be utilized for hedges. Walks can be made about the building and the premises kept neat if nothing
more is done.

The building should be far enough away from the road to avoid the dust and noise from passing vehicles. Many com-
munities will provided a teachers' home and a shed for horses, if they have not already done so, and the general plan of the
school ground should make allowance for convenient arrangement of these features.

The grounds should be entirely enclosed by a fence, a practical one being made with several strands of barbed wire or -with.
a strip of hog wire topped with two strands of barbed wire. If the posts are painted white the fence will look well and be
more durable.

One of the most important features of any school is its playground. We have changed the old idea of providing separate
playgrounds for boys and girls for several reasons. Girls and boys must study together, compete with each other for school
honors, go to and from school together and they are associated with one another in the homes. Then why should they be
partitioned off on the playground where there is excellent opportunity for the development of team work, respect for one
another's rights, and wholesome, natural relationships between boys and girls? This latter factor is too often sadly neglected
as countless errors in later youth give evidence.

There is practically no difference in the play interests of school boys and girls, age being the important factor which de-
termines variation in play. There should be a large, general playground so planned that a baseball diamond and a basket ball
court can be laid out. A place is reserved for the smaller children and is provided with a sand pile and some small wooden
boxes for building playhouses, besides such equipment as a giant stride and a slide. The older children may provide other play
equipment for the little ones.

II. The Building.

X(i sfhiKil building should be hastily planned for in most it must serve a good many years and is likely to become
quite inadequate for the community's needs. There are many places in New Mexico where consolidation will never be possible
largely because of geographical conditions and sparseness of population. This means that one or two teachers will have charge
of all grades in school. It should not mean however that the children in such a comnuniity be deprived of school advantages
which children in more favorable localities enjoy.

Any school building is primarily for children — a place where they may work and play, and learn and live. Building plans
should make provision for the teaching of industrial arts, usually by the regular teacher; for a library that all the children may
from the habit of enlarging their experieinces through reading; for assemblies of all the children in school and for ultimate
growth of attendance.

Whether a basement is provided or not, a good foundation is essential e.speeialh- since winds are so strong in most sections
of the .state. The general durability of any structure should be referred to an architect.

Each school \\ill have different needs in such matters as size of lobrary, amount of blackboard and so forth, but no school
should neglect such conveniences as built-in cupboards, ample cleoak room space, place for dinner boxes, and bulletin boards.
The coat rooms are especially convenient when provided with a separate compartment for each child.

In buildings with four or less teachers the rooms should all be on the ground floor except that an assembly hall and fuel
and furnace rooms are provided in the basement. Separate woHk room for boys and girls in the basement are inadvisable be-
causes of inadequate supervision. For the same reason separate basement playrooms for boys and girls are inadvisable. In most
part.s of the state any inside playi-oom is imnecessary for childreii are able to play outside pratically all the time.

The classrooms should provide eighteen square feet of floor space for each child, should be twelve feet high and not more
than twice as wide as high.

III. Ventilation and Heating.

In rural schools the heating and ventilating systems are one hence when no fire is needed wndow ventilation must be
substituted for the gravity system. To secure proper heat and ventilation in winter the jacketed heater is the most economi-
cal and simple in construction. The heated air which is admitted from the outside expands and rises so that factor alone will
cause circvdation in the school room. But in order that the heavy foul air may be removed, an outlet near the floor admits this
air into a flue which is built beside or around the smoke chimney. Since tliis foul air is caused to rise by being heated from the
smoke chimney it is necessary to have a thin partition between the two.

IV. Lighting.

The window space in the classrooms should be on the left side only of the pupils and should equal from one-fifth to one-
fourth of the floor space. Windows in the back of the room are unnecessary and they inconvenience the teacher who must
face them. The windows should extend to within at least six inches of the ceiling to three and one-half feet from the floor, to the
back of the room and to within about seven feet of the front of the room. This last di.stance depends upon the placing of the
seats; as a rule the window farthest front will not be ahead of the front desk, thus avoiding, as much as possible, light in the
faces of the children. If the width of a schoolroom is more than twice its height the desks farthest from the window will be

inadequately ligMed. No room will be properly lighted if the upper half of the window is continually covered by a shade. Shades
need be used only to keep out direct rays of sunlight and since the folding, adjustable shades are so easily managed no school-
room need be dimly lighted if the windows face east or west. If southern exposure is unavoidable shades which permit a dif-
fused light are desirable.

The tinting of the walls makes considerable difference in the brightness of a room. Experts have decided that the best
decoration is light brown for the lower part of the room, light buff for the walls, and a light cream color for the ceiling. The
furniture and wood work should be of light colored wood and should never be highly polished.

The location of windows in other than classrooms is not important, the main essential being that there are plenty of them
for the admission of sunshine.

V. Equipment and its Arrangement.

All equipment from blackboards to library tables should be furnished for the small as well as the larger children. Too often
all the blackboards are beyond the reach of the little ones, there is no little reading table in the library which they may claim,
nor are there any other provisions made especially for their comfort.


I. Foundation.

1. Necessary to have one which is firm, to avoid sagging of building or racliing it in strong winds. It also helps in keeping
dry and warm.

2. Where no basement is finished off 18 inches to 2 feet is sufficient height. With a basement it should be at least 3 feet
above ground line. Additional light may be given to basement room.s by terracing the ground.

II. General plans :

1. Consider:

a. Number of teachers, grades, and children.

b. Use by community (children first).

c. General durability.

2. Convenience and hygienic principles should never be sacrificed for architectural symmetry and fanciful plans.

a. Long eaves over windows exclude light and cast shadows.

3. Plans should include provision for such conveniences as built-in cupboards, book cases.

4. Room should be no more than 12 feet high or more than 24 feet OTde.

III. Ventilation.

1. Provision should be made for admission of warm fresh air and extraction of foul air — both entrance and exit to be on

same side of room, fresh air 6 or 7 feet from floor, foul air near floor.

2. In New Mexico the heater (if a jacketed stove is used) is best placed on the west side of the building because the winds

are so often from that direction.

3. Where possible a furnace should be installed for all except perhaps the one-room building.

IV. Lighting.

1. Light in the class rooms should come from the left side only.

2. W^indows placed thus :

a. 31/4 feet to 4 feet from floor.

b. As near ceiling as possible.

c. Five to seven feet from front of room.

d. Banked as closely together as possible.

3. Window space equal to one-fifth to one-fourth of floor space.

4. Glass doors in rooms to light hallways permissible.

5. Windowsbuilt in wall of one room to light another good.

V. Equipment.

1. Blackboard in front of the room is essential in all classrooms. It should extend all the way across the room in a rural
school because of the extended use to be made of it. The board at the side, between the windows and the front
wall, should be 28 inches wide or maybe width of other in the room and a chalk rail but24-26 inches from floor —
this to be for use of small children. Space above this board for posters, etc. The board on the opposite side of the
room may correspond to this. Then the board in the front and back of the room may be regular height from floor.

VI. Coat Rooms.

1. Lighted, ventilated and large enough for winter wraps.

2. Hooks adjusted to accommodate small and large pupils.

VII. Miscellaneo'us.

1. Doors from rooms should open into corridors.

2. Light into a class room comes from these directions, in order of desirability.

a. Southeast, southwest, west, south, east.

3. In cold climate walls may be made double with air space between; and with water proof paper between for the outer walls.

4. Basement rooms which are used for classes or meetings of any sort should not be more than 3 feet below ground level.

5. Eighteen square feet of floor space per pupil minimum for class room.

6. No thresholds in the building.

7. An auditorium should be provided where possible — if furnace is placed at one end then there would be room in the base-

ment for a large room in the schools of three- and four-teacher type.

8. Separate playground for boys and girls undesirable, except that some schools may provide athletic field; even this is

not to be forbidden to the girls.


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MODEL TWO ROOM SCHOOL No. 1. — A general playground and toilets in the basrmeni ; it no basement is made then plan can be made for
heaters in the room.
Size of rooms, inside measurement, 24x32; work room and library 10.\24; partition between the two rooms to be folding or rolling or a solid
wall. Building to face north and south.

Class Roi.



Mode./ Ohc-roo/n \5cAoa/ N- /

MODEL ONE ROOM SCHOOL No. 1. — Size of class room 22x34, inside measurement; work room 12x18; girls and boys' coat rooms 5x12; hall 6x6;
porch covered by roof and cabinets may be provided under the windows for books.


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MODEL ONE TEACHER SCHOOL No. 2.— Class room inside measurement 22x32; work room 10x20; girls' and boys" coat rooms and vestibule
■1x10; porch SxlO; library 8x16. Under the windows small shelves may be placed for plants and under this a case tor small children's
favorite books. Building faces north and south. ^ilfil

This plan is made with consideration tor the convenience of both teacher and pupils, for comfort, for happy, profitable time spent at school,
and for the use by the community. Since the school house must be built, why not have it built so that the maximum use may be made
of it? It costs a ilttle more at the outset but the returns in desirable influence on the children and community are immeasurable.

The porch adds to the hominess and beauty of the building and provides shelter tor those who may arrive before the door is unlocked. The
vestibule, as Territorial Supt. J. E. Clark wrote in 1909, "has its advantages at all times and in a windy country especially is almost in-
dispensable. Otherwise the wind would get a full sweep into tile building whenever the outside door was opened."

Some of the equipment, as the shelf under the windows, might be added later by the older boys; but most of it should be put in when the
school house is built, then it is sure to be there and to be well constructed.

If there is a basement, and this is recommended for the colder districts of the state, the fuel room will serve as an entrance, and the hot
air flue can be put near the chimney, perhaps as indicated by dotted line in ink. The advantage of having the foul air enter a flue
beside the smoke chimney is that the heat accelerates its removal.


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PLANS FOR REMODELING OLD BUILDING. — Class room inside measurement 32x22; work room 22x12; fuel room 8x8; boys' and girls' coat
rooms 5x8; hall 6x8; teachers' room and supplies 8x8.











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MODEL PLAN FOR FOUR ROO'M SCHOOL.^ — Size of class rooms 22x31; coat rooms 3x22; library 14x28; teachers' room 19x11; office 14x11;
placita 16x16; porch built high as rooms to give plenty of light to the rooms. This building is heated by a furnace. Basement plan
not given. School Building standards are observed in this floor plan.

















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Promulgated by the State Board of Health of New Mexico
April 30, 1920.

Section 1. — Drainage. — All public school buildings and grounds shall be located on well drained sites. If the natural drainage
is insufficient, adequate artificial drainage shall be provided sufficient to insure freedom from dampness of buildings and grounds.

Sec. 2. — Sanitary Construction. — All public school buildings shall be so constructed as to conform to the follomng sanitary
requirements :

a. All buildings shall be weather tight, free from crevices in the floors or walls and from leaks in roofs.

b. All buildings shall be as nearly fire-proof as possible, and if of more than one story shall be provided with at least one

fire escape for each corridor or hall above the ground floor. All future construction shall provide at least one fire-
escape for each end of each corridor or hall above the ground floor. It is recommended that all buildings of more
than one story be also protected with a sprinkler system meeting the minimum requirements of the National Board
of Fire Underwriters.

c. All doors shall open outward only, and all outside doors shall be provided, in schools having more than one room, with

fire-bolts on the inside.

d. All basements or cellars shall be so constructed as to be well ventilated and dry.

e. All future construction shall provide adequate cloak room space, including facilities for the care of wraps, hats and

other personal effects.

Section 3. — School Desks. — All school desks used in any class room shall be of an adjustable iype; or, in lieii thereof, desks
of different sizes shall be provided to accommodate children of varying bodily growth.

Section 4. — Ventilation. — Class rooms shall at all times when occupied be adequately ventilated through one of the follow-
ing arrangements:

a. Through wide-open windows in mild weather.

b. Through window-board ventilators under other conditions, or

c. Through special air ducts, inlets or outlets in connection with an adequate steam, hot-water or hot-air heating and

ventilating system.

d. When a jacketed stove is used for heating, the jacket shall be fitted with a direct air inlet not less than twelve (12)

inches square, opening through the wall of the building against the middle, or hottest part, of the stove, and a
special foul air outlet shall be provided in the base-board on the same side of the room as the stove is located.

e. All future construction shall provided not less than two hundred forty (240) cubic feet net of free air space for each
pupil using any class room.

Section 5. — Heating. — Unless an adequate steam, hot-water or hot-air heating sustem is installed in the school building, at
least a jacketed stove shall be provided in each class room.

No unjacketed stove shall be permitted in any class room.

Every class room shall be provided with a thermometer, and the temperature of the air, when artificial heating is necessary,
shall at all times, when such room is occupied, be kept at not less than sixty-five (65) nor more than seventy (70) degrees (Fah-

Section 6. Lighting. — ^Every class room shall be provided with lighting facilities which will permit adequate illumination of

all parts of the room on the darkest days.

The net area of clear glass in windows in each class room shall be not less than one-fifth (1/5) of the floor space of the room.

Window shades shall be provided for all windows in class rooms, for the proper control of lighting and the protection of the
eyes from a glare of light, and such shades shall permit adjustment from either the top or bottom.

No trees, shinibbery or other obstruction shall be permitted so near any school building as to materially impair the natural
ligliting of any class room.

Section 7. Drinkiiig Water. — There shall be provided in every school building at all times when such building is occupied,

a supply of safe, potable drinking water, ample in quantity for the normal needs of every school child.

Every public school building shall be provided with not less than one sanitary drinking fountain of a type that will not at
any time permit the mouth of the individual using the fountain to come in contact with the spout or faucet from which the
water flows; or, in lieu thereof, a closed sanitary jar, tank or cooler, with a faucet, shall be provided. No bucket or other open
container for drinking water shall be used.

No drinking cup, dipper or other utensil which is, or may be, used in common by more than one person shall be provided or
permitted in any public school building. A supply of individual sanitary cups may be provided, or pupils may provide their
ovm cups for individual use.

Section 8.— Lavatory.— Every public school building shall be supplied where possible with an adequate supply of safe, clean,
running water for washing purposes, and provided with sufficient lavatory equipment and supplies, placed, if possible, in a
separate lavatory room, convenient and accessible.

No towel which is, or may be, iused in common by more than one person, without thorough laundering after each individual
use thereof, shall be provided or permitted in any public school building. A supply of individual sanitary towels may be provided,
or pupils may provide their o-wn towels for individual use.

Section 9.— Sewage Disposal.— All public school buildings, where a sufficient supply of water piped under pressure is avail-


Online LibraryNew Mexico. Dept. of educationPlans and suggestions for New Mexico rural school buildings → online text (page 1 of 2)