I'm going to start by telling you about the old high school building and the history of the election for the new high school building that took place in 1919. The board of education said the old high school was too small for the students. So they had a bond election for the new high school, which is now McCain Middle School.
The school bond election was to be held on Saturday, April 12, 1919. The people of Payette were invited to see the conditions of the old high school. The bond election was to be held at the Central School.
One objection to building a new school was the higher taxes. People said it would increase your taxes from $4.00 to $6.00-$8.00 for an assessed value of $1000.00. Things were really cheap back then. The people were not so sure they wanted their taxes raised. Then they were asked if it was worth it so their kids could have a better education. They said yes.
Some said, "Why vote?" They were asked what kind of schooling they wanted their kids to have that they didn't have. They also said they were gonig to prepare the students for real life. In the year 1919, an estimated 204 students were to attend.
The Board of Education understood that to build the new high school, they would need help with the finances. The new high school was not definitely going to be built unless a bond passed. The bond was for $75,000. 397 people voted in the election. 346 votes were for it and 51 votes were against it.
The contractors were sent a notice. The board was to receive bids until 8:00 PM, July 24, 1919. The architect company was Wayland and Fennel. The costs for some fo the general construction were $250 for plumbing and $500 for heating. The contractor was A.S. Whiteway and the engineer was C.P. Lattig. The excavator was A.F. Rupp.
The contractors were scheduled to begin work on Wednesday, October 1, 1920. The building was to face Center Avenue and be 98 feet from the curb. It was planned to be in the middle of the block. The foundation of the new high school building was laid on October 2, 1919. It was 71x146 feet. The school building was to have two stories and a basement. School was scheduled to begin on September 6, 1920, but because of the unfinished conditions, the high school didn't open until Monday, September 27, 1920.
The school was dedicated Friday, January 14, 1921. The people were invited to a chicken pie supper at 75 cents a place which was prepared by Miss Nodle and the Domestic Science Girls. Two hundred people were there and $125.00 was raised for supplies. There were also two basketball games that day, Friday, against Weiser. Payette won both games. There were lots of penalties for both sides. The boy's score was 38-30. The girl's game was 3-0. Pauline Pence, Payette star forward, sprained her ankle during the second half so she couldn't play. A record breaking crowd attended the games. A number from Weiser came down on two bobsleds.
The "AXE" Payette High School Yearbook 1920-1921
"Dedicate New High School Building" Payette Enterprise Newspaper, Thursday, January 20, 1921, page 1
"High School Bond Election" Payette Enterprise Newspaper, April 10, 1919, page 1
"High School Building Underway" Payette Enterprise Newspaper, October 2, 1919, page 1
"High School Gleanings" Payette Enterprise Newspaper, January 20, 1921, page 1
"High School Opening" Payette Enterprise Newspaper, September 23, 1920, page 1
"Higher Taxes" Payette Enterprise Newspaper, April 10, 1919, page 1
"Notice of School Opening" Payette Enterprise Newspaper, August 26, 1920, page 8
"Notice to Contractors" Payette Independent Newspaper, July 10, 1919, page 3
"Results of Payette High School Bond Election" Idaho Statesman Newspaper, April 14, 1919, page 2
"School Bond Election" Payette Independent Newspaper, April 10, 1919, page 2
"School Bonds Sold" Payette Independent Newspaper, May 1, 1919, page 1
"Why Vote for the New High School Building?" Payette Independent Newspaper, April 10, 1919, page 1
"Will Dedicate Payette New High School Building" Payette Enterprise Newspaper, January 18, 1921, page 1
"Work Begins of New High School Building" Payette Independent Newspaper, August 28, 1919, page 1