Building Description Campbell Union Grammar School, Campbell California
Located on the northeast corner of Winchester Boulevard and Campbell Avenue on approximately 3.126 acres which includes front and side yard, Campbell Union Grammar School presently contains 38,200 square feet. It was originally in an E shape, open to the rear, but the architect who designed the school, William H. Weeks, designed two additions, one in June, 1926, and the other in March, 1929, that completed the enclosure of the E, thus forming an enclosed courtyard. The additions are of the same design and material as the original building. The single-story building has a second floor in the center of the E above the auditorium, which is directly behind the main entrance.
The building is located far enough from Campbell Avenue so that the front grounds provide an open space, park-like atmosphere. Included in the plantings is a 60 foot Sequoia gigantea which was planted in February, 1932, in conjunction with Campbell's Old Settlers' Day celebration, which has been held every year since 1895.
The building is of reinforced concrete with a low-pitched red tile roof that is a combination of hips and gables. The red tile roof is in evidence on the exterior elevations but not on the interior courtyard elevations.
The classically symmetrical facade was originally covered with a pinkish cream plaster. The front entry features a triple arched portico with dual attached columns. Across the whole portico is a series of four steps. Above the entry columns, the architrave area once exhibited the name of the school. These were removed in 1964 when the facility became known as West Valley College. A frieze area above the architrave features applied scroll panels in line with the applied columns below.
The windows are arranged in banks of three. The fenestration is intact, but the glazing has been vandalized. Above the banks of three windows in the front corner portions of the building, which housed the cafeteria on the west and the kindergarten on the east, are recessed arches with cast ornamentation resembling urns.
The central wing of the building has an enclosed hallway with skylights near both ends. The other wings have open arcades, and the classroom doors in these wings open into these arcades onto the interior courtyard which is in the shape of a U due to the intrusion of the auditorium. Two chimneys are in evidence, one to the rear of the auditorium and one on the east by the kindergarten.
Due to vandalism of the interior, the only significant feature remaining is the tile-lined fireplace in the kindergarten, with seats on either side of it. The kindergarten also included a unique feature known as the sun porch, which was located off the room to the east. With an 18" wall around it, it was considered an innovation for its day and provided an exterior entrance to the room.
Although all doors and light fixtures have to be replaced, a September, 1978, report by consulting engineer Hugh B. Brewster indicates that the building is in excellent structural condition, with no evidence of settlement of the exterior walls or foundation. The condition? f the roof structure is excellent and little work would be required to bring its structural element to an acceptable level of safety. The floor system is of wood assembly, with joists and girders of acceptable condition and of a quality not available today, according to Brewster.
There is one modern intrusion to the building. It is a portion of a concrete arcade built in 1941 on the east side that joined additional classrooms to the original building. It was partially demolished in 1977 when Civic Center Drive was built, and the remaining part will be removed when the building is renovated.