Vacant Junior/Senior High School in OH

Grafton School, Grafton Ohio
Date added: November 18, 2023 Categories: Ohio School
Front of building (2006)

History of Grafton Village

Grafton Village is, today, a community of approximately 2300 residents. Located in the wooded plains and river valleys of north-central Ohio, specifically, along the western branch of the Black River, it was settled in 1817 by Jonathan and Grindall Rawson. Like many of the area's earliest settlers, the Rawson brothers migrated here from the western part of Massachusetts. Throughout the mid 19th and into the early 20th centuries, Grafton's prosperity and development centered greatly on the stone quarry industry, the surrounding agricultural economy specifically grain, and the railroad as a means of transportation and shipping. In 1846, a major railroad company, the Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati Railroad, chose Grafton Village as the site for one of its stations. As part of the agreement to locate the tracks and station on the Rawson's land, the railroad required that they plat a town. The Rawsons agreed and Grafton Station (later, Grafton Village) was formed. Within two years of the opening of the railroad line, quality stone was discovered in the area. Soon several stone quarries opened, attracting many German, Irish and Polish immigrants to the town. The stone quarried around the Grafton area became famous for its quality and was soon being shipped throughout the northern and eastern portions of the country. A second railroad, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, built a line through Grafton in 1872, further spurring development and cementing the town as a transportation center for distribution of local goods.

Grafton School

In the late 19th century passage of several key federal and state laws impacted school attendance and teaching practices. In 1877, the state of Ohio passed a mandatory school attendance law, requiring all those under the age of 14 to attend public school. In 1898 graded schools became compulsory under state law and the centralization of small schools was encouraged; with local school boards being authorized to transport students to neighboring centralized schools. By 1902, state law required school districts to transport its qualified students to a district offering a High School, and to pay tuition for its students to attend. Junior High Schools and the specific curriculum for this level were also soon defined by statute. Progressive education concepts also promoted the offering of a curriculum containing training in music, art, domestic science, industrial arts, languages, laboratory sciences, agricultural, commercial, and vocational courses, and physical fitness, with specialized classrooms for each. State legislation again followed these suggestions. The Brumbaugh Act of 1902 created a formal definition of high school curriculum which clearly set high school instruction apart from elementary school instruction. High Schools were divided into three distinct categories, each of which had specific standards.

A "First Class" school consisted of four years of high school classes, operated thirty-two weeks each year, and required the completion of at least sixteen specific courses for a diploma. The Second and Third Class High Schools offered less in each category.

By 1921, High School attendance was mandatory for all students through age 16.

These state laws greatly increased the number of children attending school and consolidated the students into fewer school buildings. The buildings were required to be inspirational, oriented to hands-on learning, and fire-safe. Thus, began the cycle of school consolidation, curriculum-specific school construction and local/government school funding that exists to this day.

The relevant experience of the Grafton Schools in reflecting broad educational trends and state educational regulation begins in 1868, when the Grafton Township one-room school was absorbed into the newly created Rawsonville Unified School District. The District consisted of Grafton Township, Grafton Village, and Eaton Township, with Grafton Township and Eaton Township each required to pay taxes to the new school district in order to allow students to attend. The first wooden frame school building was located on Chestnut Street in Grafton Village. This building quickly became overcrowded, additionally, the District decided that it wanted to offer a "better curriculum to ..better prepare the young people for the changing world". The town, now re-named Grafton Village, used the sale of municipal bonds to raise money and was able to construct its first brick school building, on the same Chestnut Street lot.

Enrollment continued to climb, causing the school district, now composed of primary, intermediate, grammar, and high school grades, to place students in neighboring buildings and in upstairs rooms in the downtown commercial area. Finally, in 1891, the townspeople passed a tax levy for a new, three-story brick school building. That building was completed in 1892 and the district was re-named as Grafton Union School. The new brick building became overcrowded within three years, again causing the need for additions in 1895, 1905, the renting of outside rooms for classes in 1915, and another addition in 1917. Also, between 1908 (the year of the tragic Collinwood School fire in Cleveland, Ohio) and 1917, state law required several fire safety additions to the school building.

In addition to the constant physical overcrowding, Grafton Union School was continually striving to achieve a rating as a "First Class" High School. It achieved this rating first in 1910, eight years after the state established the school rating system. In order to maintain this distinction, Grafton Union School was required to keep pace with the ever-expanding requirements codified by the Ohio legislature. Specifically, the school was required to employ specified numbers of teachers to teach specific courses, such as laboratory physics and biology, vocational courses such as domestic science and industrial arts, music and art courses, and physical education courses; additionally, the school was required to continually supplement its library and its laboratory equipment. Grafton Union School was able to keep up with most of these requirements by buying used equipment from neighboring school districts, but the need for a gymnasium to fulfill the 100-minute-per-week physical education requirement was problematic. The school began renting use of gym space from Beldon School in 1927. At about that same time, the high school basketball team, which had been practicing in the garage of the local auto shop, was becoming a championship team, building great local pride in the people of Grafton. In early 1930, discussions began regarding the financing and building of a new gymnasium for the team, to be Phase one of an entirely new school complex. The voters passed a three-year levy, but the school was unable to qualify for additional state funding. In 1935, when the levy came up for renewal, the voters turned it down; the severe economic downturn of the Great Depression had reached Grafton, leaving Grafton School officials with two problems, first, the need to build a school that could physically house the many specific gymnasium, laboratories, art/music rooms and classrooms required by the Progressive curriculum, and second, how to pay for it. The nationally significant 1930s New Deal program answered both questions. The 1936 Grafton School building ultimately was designed and built to satisfy early 20th-century classroom, laboratory, and gymnasium/health requirements.

The 1959 Addition was later designed to address the population explosion resulting from the post-war Baby Boom. The original Grafton School building was heralded as a model for Progressive Junior and Senior High Schools of the time and was used as such until 2005.

At the beginning of the Great Depression, the Grafton School District was operating normally. By 1935, the school district was in debt and the voters, unable to afford further taxes for school improvements, turned down requests for a levy. A turning point in our nation's social and economic history occurred with the institution of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, a myriad of federally orchestrated re-employment programs. One of the most successful of the programs was the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The goal of this program was to put the unemployed to work on public building projects, including the construction of school buildings. The Grafton School building is one of 249 WPA school buildings built in Ohio. Nationally, a total of 4,383 new schools were built by the WPA between 1936 and 1941.

The plans for the 1936 Grafton School building began with an attempt to find funding under the federal Civil Works Administration (CWA), the predecessor to the WPA. Under that plan, only a gym building, as an adjunct to the 1892 school building, was proposed in 1933-34. However, in June of 1935, the Ohio State School Inspector suggested that an entirely new school, with a gymnasium and auditorium, be constructed. The state agreed to make an application to the WPA for funding. As stated by one Grafton resident, involved with the Federal-State application process, "[S]o, it was [to be] more plans, with the accompanying red tape. There were no precedents to follow, no one to point the way. The endless government forms were a huge hurdle that had to be overcome before they would be granted the money." Ultimately, the WPA did agree to pay 45% of the $125,000.00 cost, with the residents of Grafton paying $70,000.00, through the issuance of municipal bonds. In November of 1935, the School Board purchased the 15 acres of land on Elm Street, on which the building now sits, for $1,500. The significance of this event, the WPA construction of the Grafton School building, is further illustrated by the following local resident's account of the difficulties in securing contractors to build the school during the depths of the Depression. "Walter G. Caldwell, Cleveland [Ohio], was the architect chosen for this project and he stated that getting bids was more difficult at this time than any other in the 21 years of his experience. 'The depression had driven some contractors out of business, others had their financial standings so weakened that they were unable to furnish the bond required, while the balance of them were busy figuring other Public Works Administration projects.' Every contractor who had ever worked on public building in Cuyahoga, Medina, and Lorain Counties was contacted for bids, the architect explained. ..When the plans for the new building were prepared, it was necessary for the architect and the men working under him to work nights and Sundays to get the work done. Under PWA rules, everything had to be ready to go [for construction to begin] by January 1, so many times, these men put in 18-hour days."

On December 5, 1935, the Grafton Village Board of Education awarded the construction contracts. These contracts were subject to WPA approval, which was granted, after meeting several money-saving requirements, including, that the slate blackboards from the 1892 school building be re-used in the 1936 Grafton School building. It appears that several of these 1892 slate blackboards remain in the building. On December 11, 1935, ground was broken, work began no later than January 1, 1936, and the entire school building was completed by July of that year. On July 2, 1936, a cornerstone sealing ceremony was held. The ceremony was held at the end of construction instead of the beginning, due to labor problems at the cornerstone company during the 1930's. Sealed inside a copper box, within the cornerstone of school building are the voluminous WPA documents that had been required for the building of the school, many construction documents, a written history of the Village of Grafton, a history of the Grafton Schools, comments of the Board of Education members, a list of the then-current faculty, and comments of the Grafton School Superintendent.

Building Description

The Grafton School building is located at 1111 Elm Street in Grafton, Ohio. The original school building was constructed in 1936, to house grades 1-12. An addition was constructed in 1959, presumably to accommodate both the students from the five contiguous townships which in 1953 had been consolidated into one school district, and the influx of new "baby boom" elementary students. The 1959 Addition changed the basic footprint of the building from a T-shape into an L-shaped building. The original school building ("Original School") is a fine example of Modernistic Art Deco Style, a style not commonly used for educational buildings in Ohio. It measures two stories in height, has a concrete foundation, a flat roof, and is composed of spotted grey Manganese brick, specifically chosen to blend with the decorative stone entry tower and its flanking brick piers, which together, form the entrance of the building. The Art Deco style is exhibited by the low horizontal massing of the school building, the very strong, horizontal banding of casement windows on the front facade, the monochromatic brick and stone facade, the narrow, carved stone piers separating window groupings, and the rectilinear/Art Deco design elements of the main entrance (carved stone reeding, and wing and geometric carvings).

The 1959 addition ("Addition") was designed to closely match the original building. The addition is L-shaped, with the foot of the L attached to the north wall of the original facade of the school and doubling its length. The vertical length of the L extends to the rear of the facade. In combination with the original T-shaped school building, the footprint is transformed into a U-shape. The addition is constructed of nearly identical grey brick, a cement foundation, and a flat roof. It contains identical horizontal bands of similar casement windows, also separated into groupings, but by shallow brick piers with stone caps. The addition entrance, which is a secondary entrance for the entire school building, is located directly on the seam between the original building and the addition.

The Grafton School building stands out as the only public building at this Y-intersection of two suburban, residential streets. It is sited on the diagonal, facing the intersection. It is set back from the streets, providing a park-like lawn entrance and semi-circular driveway. To the south side of the building is an open parking area, bordered by residences. To the rear(east) of the school is some additional parking and a very large open playground/grass-field area. The vertical arms of the U-shaped building encloses an additional cement play area and outdoor lunch area. To the north of the school building is a narrow lawn area, bordered by residences.

The original portion of the Grafton School building consists of a horizontal, two-story brick building accented by a simple stone entrance tower with a shallow parapet. The front of the entrance tower is faced in smooth stone panels carved with five columns of reeding, placed symmetrically on each side of the doorway. Topping each group of reeding is a stylized wing carving. The word "Grafton" is carved into the face of the shallow parapet stone. Stacked above the central, double door, is another band of carved reeding. Stacked above this reeding element is a grouping of three casement windows, separated by narrow, carved, ogee-beveled stone piers. Above the window grouping is narrow carved stone spandrel depicting a repeating triangular "compass" design. Finally, above the spandrel is another horizontal band of carved reeding. This simple, but clearly Art Deco design, forms the entrance tower.

Stepped back from the stone entrance tower, on each side, is a smaller, flanking brick column. Each brick column contains one window unit, topped by a narrow, stone spandrel carved in the repeating triangular "compass" design, and band of reeding. All of these elements match those of the main tower. The brick comprising the columns (and the entire building) is the above-noted spotted grey Manganese brick. This brick, set in an American Bond pattern, was specifically chosen to match with, not contrast with, the stone panels. This is in keeping with the then-popular Art Deco Streamline design concept. The remainder of the symmetrical school building facade is constructed of the grey brick, punctuated by two horizontal bands of rolled steel casement windows. Moving from the entrance tower and columns, out, the windows are arranged in groupings of four, four, and then five. Each grouping of windows is separated by a shallow, brick, stepped pier, topped with stepped, stone caps. The caps are ogee-beveled and curved in the Art Deco style. Within each window grouping, the individual vertical casement window units are separated by very narrow, carved stone piers, the tops of the stone piers are also curved in the Art Deco style. The window units each contain four rectangular, vertical, stacked lights. The first and third lights open inward. Surrounding these main lights are minor, rectangular, stationary lights. The overall effect is that of Art Deco, geometrical design. Each window unit is completed with a stone header and a brick sill.

The south face of the building is constructed of identical brick. On this face is located a secondary entrance door, topped by two window units. The door, constructed of steel with two horizontal glass lights is flanked by two steel Sidelight units. Above the door, the two window units are identical to the vertical steel casement units on the building's front facade. The wall of this face extends slightly above the height of the building's flat roof.

The east (rear) face of the building is constructed of identical brick and contains identical, horizontal bands of vertical, casement window units as are found on the front of the school. There are, however, no brick piers separating the window groupings, nor are there any Art Deco elements on this face. Also located here is an outdoor, concrete access stairway to the only basement room of the building, the boiler and coal storage room. This outdoor stair is currently fully enclosed by chain link fencing.

This east face also contains the gymnasium/auditorium portion of the school building and thus, created the above-noted original T-shape footprint. The gym portion, a large, two-story, rectangular building with a flat roof, connects to the school via an internal, central entrance hall. Additionally, four exit doors are located at each corner of the gym's exterior; each door is contained in its own one-story, flat-roofed, brick shed structure. The north and south faces of the gym building each contain four, two-story window openings. These openings are currently bricked in, although, from the inside, some of the top few panes of the windows remain visible. From this, it appears that the windows were originally steel casement, glazed with wire-reinforced opaque glass. The four windows on each gym face are separated by shallow, plain brick piers.

Moving past the gym portion and continuing along the east face (rear) of the original school building, one notes identical brick construction and fenestration, ending at the seam joining the 1959 addition. As with the windows on the south side of the gym portion, these windows have horizontal brick lintels and decorated brick slip sills.

The 1959 Addition, as previously noted, was constructed so as to blend well with the original building. The addition is L-shaped, connecting almost seamlessly with the original building at the north face. It doubles the length of the original face and then extends perpendicularly to the rear (east). The front face of the addition, unlike its vertical leg, is a two-story, flat-roof structure. It is constructed of brick in a shade very similar to the original building, is laid in an American Bond pattern, and has a poured-concrete foundation, and steel coping along the flat roof. The window fenestration and composition of the secondary doorway is extremely well-matched to the original. The secondary entrance contains a double door, each door being constructed of steel with two full, horizontal lights. The double doors are surrounded by steel and glass transom. This secondary entrance is covered by a simple flat roof, supported by two steel pipes, each pipe being set on a low knee wall of matching brick with a stone cap.

The addition windows are arranged in groupings of three, each grouping separated by a shallow, rectangular brick pier, topped with a rectangular stone cap. Although creating the same effect as those of the original building, the piers on the addition do not continue to roof height, but end at second floor window header height. The window units are vertical casement units, constructed of rolled steel, and consisting of five rectangular lights. The bottom two lights of each unit appear to open inward. Within each grouping of three, the windows are separated by a vertical, steel post. Each window is completed by a horizontal, brick lintel and a plain, stone, slip sill.

The north face of the addition is constructed of identical brick. The doorway found on this face consists of a double, steel door with two, vertical glass panels in the top half of the doors. The doorway, covered by a simple flat roof, edged with a steel coping, is supported by two pipes. Above the door is located one steel, casement window containing six vertical, rectangular panes, all of which appear to be stationary. Two additional steel casement windows are also located on this face, along the first floor, to the east of the doorway. These are five-pane, vertical, rectangular windows, glazed in reinforced, opaque glass.

The building indents slightly then begins the vertical leg of the addition. This leg is a one-story, flat-roofed structure, composed of identical brick, set in American Bond pattern, with a poured concrete foundation and steel coping around the flat roof. This leg also contains a strong horizontal band of steel casement windows, each five or six rectangular panes tall; the lowest pane being a vent pane that opens inward. These windows also are finished with horizontal, brick lintels and stone slip Sills. These window units are grouped in two's on the south face of the vertical leg and groups of three on the north face of the vertical leg. These windows are flush-set into the brick. There are no separating piers, nor are there any Art Deco elements on this leg of the addition. The vertical leg follows a gradually sloping grade to the east, requiring the last half of the vertical leg to be indented and narrowed a second time. A secondary entrance door is located at the point of this second indentation. This door is a single, steel door, containing three rectangular glass panes in the top half of the door. A single casement window flanks the door. The door and window are covered by a simple, flat roof, edged in steel, and supported by two metal poles.

The original school's main entrance opens into a rectangular entrance hall. The walls are covered halfway up in glazed, yellow brick; plaster covers the wall from the brick to the ceiling. The ceilings were originally 10 feet tall but have been lowered with a drop ceiling to a height of eight feet. Vinyl tile covers the cement slab floor. Double glass doors complete this preliminary entrance hall. The steel-framed doors contain two full glass panels; the doors are bounded by rectangular sidelights and a long, stationary, transom window. Beyond the glass doors is located the main school corridor. This ten-foot wide corridor was designed as an important component of this "modern", efficient, fire-safe public school building. As noted by the architect Walter G. Caldwell, this depression-era, WPA building was designed as a model of efficiency, "{e}fficiency was the key. One teacher standing anywhere in {this, the only corridor,} will see everything that is happening." This concept of efficiency is repeated several times in the design of this building, specifically in the dual-use layout of the gym/auditorium, the kitchen/ auditorium, the location of restrooms and locker rooms allowing dual use by school students and players/performers/audience, and the double-sized specialty rooms allowing dual use for more than one subject area (library/study hall, cooking/sewing/ debate room, physics/biology laboratory, and art/home design room).

This central intersection of the main corridor, the entrance hall, and the auditorium/gymnasium entrance is marked by an octagonal wall and ceiling treatment accentuated by deep, wood, ceiling cove molding, currently painted white. The walls of the central corridor, on both floors, are covered in glazed yellow brick ½ the height of the walls, then plaster up to the ten-foot-high ceiling. Baseboard treatment consists of the same yellow glazed brick in a soldier course.

Directly across the main corridor is the main entry to the auditorium/gymnasium. As noted previously, this portion of the school building juts out, originally creating the t-shaped footprint. The entrance doors to the gym are simple, double, metal swinging doors. In contrast to the majority of doors, baseboards and door frames in this original part of the school, these gym doors do not appear to be original, they may have been installed during the construction of the 1959 addition. This gym was designed to be used by "everyone in town... [b]asketball, games, dances, dinners and plays can be held in the building, making it a real civic center." Because the gym was to be used by the town as a banquet facility, it was connected to the original school kitchen by a door located in the northeast shed structure which houses one of the gym exit doors. This kitchen door is currently walled in. The gym measures 70 X 45 feet and 20 feet to the finished, plaster ceiling.

There are four locker rooms, two for boys' teams (home and away), and two for girls' teams (home and away). These are located under the balcony, one set on either side. Each retains its shower and toilet facilities. These sets of locker rooms are each accessible from the gym, via a short set of steps located between the balcony wall and the exit door shed structure.

The wooden stage is located directly across from the gym entrance, on the east wall of the gym building. It measures 21 X 54 feet, large enough to be used for large pageants and ceremonies. It retains its original curtains and rope apparatus. Underneath the stage, on either side, are two additional, large dressing rooms (also with showers and toilet facilities), as well as space for chair storage. These locker rooms are also constructed of cement and glazed tile and are accessible from the north-east and south-east shed structures which house the other two gym exit doors. When used as an auditorium, the gym floor would seat 500 people, in addition, there is a large, stepped, cement balcony overlooking the gym which seated another 100-200. It appears that the balcony originally may have contained individual seats bolted to the concrete risers. If so, these seats were removed at some point in the past, leaving only the concrete risers for students to sit upon. A projection booth is built in at the top of the balcony, for use in showing moving pictures and operating stage spotlights. This projection booth, also constructed of cement, is currently concealed behind a false wall and is accessible only from a second-floor classroom. It retains its three original projectors and stage light window openings.

From the main corridor intersection, to the north, on the east side of the corridor is located a full set of girls' restrooms. In keeping with the efficiency model for this building, this restroom was made accessible to the gym/auditorium via an additional door located on the east wall of the restroom. This door also allowed access to one set of gym locker rooms, which lockers could be used as additional student lockers if the school population grew more than expected. Immediately to the south of the girls' restroom is located an original water fountain niche, defined by an arch of the same yellow-glazed brick that lines the corridor walls. The original fountain has been replaced by a modern unit. On the north side of the girls' restroom was the original kitchen. This was accessible to the gym via the previously noted door and passageway, now walled in. All kitchen equipment was removed when the 1959 addition, with its newer kitchen, was built. This room, as well as the original cafeteria room next to it, was most recently used as a classroom. An additional classroom completes this section of the original corridor. Most classrooms in the original building contained four windows, each with a 12-inch deep, stained wood, window sill. The deep window sills can still be found in all the original classrooms. Across the corridor, immediately next to the entry hall, were located the school office and clinic. An original, oak-framed window to the corridor still exists, although it has been altered to be used as a glass display case. These rooms have most recently been used as administrative offices. They retain several original, chestnut-stained oak doors, tall oak baseboards, and an original child-sized restroom in the clinic room. Several false walls have been erected to subdivide these rooms.

Further north, on this west side of the corridor, is located a double-sized room, which originally housed the state-of-the art Domestic Science room. This room originally contained both a cooking and a sewing "laboratory". The Kitchen lab was on the inside wall at the north end of the double room. Using six-foot high partitions, several kitchenettes had been built in, each containing an up-to-the-minute stove, cabinet, cabinet-type sink, full kitchen equipment, receptacles, and lights. The remainder of the double room contained the sewing area, with the electric sewing machines located along the window wall and sewing tables/ desks occupying the middle of the room. The front of the room contained the blackboard, demonstration equipment, and a folding stage. This part of the room could also be partitioned off with heavy curtains for use as a fitting room. This double room was used for lectures, demonstrations in meal service, style shows, dramatic debates, public speaking practice, and art shows in conjunction with the Art Department. This room was most recently used as the school library. It currently contains dark-stained wooden shelf units transferred from the Original second-floor library. Some of the tall stained wood baseboards are intact, the floor is currently covered in thin carpet, and a dropped ceiling has been added. Finally, two doors have been added, one at the north end of the room to allow access to the 1959 addition, the other at the south end of the room to allow access to the administrative offices.

The south end of the original corridor has a similar, symmetrical layout. The east side of the corridor contains a full boys' restroom, then another water fountain, outlined by a matching brick arch, then a double-sized classroom originally used as the Industrial Arts room. This room has a reinforced floor to hold the weight of wood and metal working machines. It was also capable of supporting the weight of an automobile for repair training purposes. This room has most recently been subdivided with false walls and used for classrooms. It contains no distinctive elements.

Across the corridor, on the west side, are located three original, single classrooms. These rooms have been altered by subdividing with false walls. They contain almost no original elements, with the exception of the 12-inch deep, stained wood window sills. These rooms have been used as classrooms and administrative offices.

At the south end of the corridor is located one of the stairwells to the second floor and the only stairway to the basement. The basement of this building contains only a boiler room and a coal storage room (now used for general storage). The original school is heated by steam heat. There are no other fully below-grade rooms, the gymnasium locker rooms are located partially below grade. The stairwell to the second floor is constructed of steel and cement, faced in matching yellow, glazed brick, with two simple wooden banisters. The steps and risers are currently painted red. As previously noted, a single exit door is located at the south end of the building.

At the top of this original set of steps, one can again sight directly down the wide, second-floor corridor. This corridor is also faced in yellow, glazed brick ½ up the wall, with plaster finishing the walls up to the 10-foot ceiling. A dropped ceiling also has been installed here, lowering the height to 8 feet. Vinyl tile/linoleum covers the cement slab floor. As is the case throughout the school building, all classrooms have windows on only one side, each original, single classroom containing four windows, the double rooms containing 5-6. These numbers, of course, vary in the recently partitioned rooms.

The east side of the corridor contains another double-sized classroom, originally a chemistry and physics laboratory. It retains two built-in ceiling height cabinets, most of the original tall baseboards (some currently painted white), and the deep, wood-stained window sills. Many of the second-floor classrooms retain the original stained wood doors from 1936. Also, many of these classrooms retain their original slate blackboards and frames. These may to date back to the 1890s, as at least two contemporaneous accounts of the building of the 1936 school, state that the WPA required the school to reuse the slate blackboards from the previous 1890s building as a cost-cutting measure.

To the north of the Chemistry lab is located another classroom, this one of single size. It also retains its wooden door, baseboards and deep wooden window sills. Next, to the north is located another full boys' bathroom, then, two very unusually-shaped rooms. These rooms are not original, but were created using false walls to enclose the projection booth and part of the auditorium balcony. These were apparently most recently used as specialty teaching rooms. To the north is located another single-sized classroom, then another double room, originally the art room. The Art room retains 5 original built-in drawer/shelf units and 1 drawer/shelf/sink unit, all painted white. One additional normal-sized classroom completes the west side of the original, second-floor corridor. This classroom has been subdivided, using false partition walls, into two very small classrooms.

The west side of the corridor, starting from the south stairway, contains 2-3 normal-sized classrooms, most retaining the original slate blackboards, stained wood doors, tall baseboards, and deep wood window sills. These rooms have been altered to some degree with the addition of false partition walls. Centered in the middle of the west side of the corridor is another double room, originally used as the school/public library and study hall. It is located directly over the main entrance to the school, in the shallow tower section. It retains two built-in shelving units and the original slate blackboard. To the north is located a smaller classroom, then a slightly larger classroom, lined with acoustic tile, which was originally the music room. Two or three single classrooms complete the west side of the original second-floor corridor.

The 1959 Addition was built to house all elementary and junior high school students in the then newly-centralized Grafton School district, as well as the influx of baby boom children reaching school age. The high school students had been moved to a separate high school building, built in 1955. The 1959 Grafton School Addition is joined at the north end of the Original School building. It is constructed with cast-in-place, one-way, concrete ribs, a very labor-intensive method of construction no longer used today.

Continuing north along the second floor, the seam of the addition is visible inside the building. The 1936 solid brick wall construction clearly contrasts with the painted cinder block and wide, glazed brick construction of the 1959 addition. The ceiling of the addition is covered in standard ceiling tiles, the cement floor is covered in vinyl or linoleum tile, and most of the classroom doors are constructed of steel, with steel door framing. The east side of the corridor, at the seam, contains a new stairwell allowing access from the first floor to the center of the second floor of the newly-doubled school building. Unlike the original school corridor, the corridors of the 1959 addition contains hundreds of built-in, metal, student lockers. Evidence of minor water damage caused by a leak in the roof is visible on the ceiling tiles at the building seam.

The classrooms of the second-floor addition, designed to house the intermediate grades, and the junior high school students (grades 7-9), are all of normal size, and, as in the original building, are located on both sides of the main corridor. Each classroom contains one set of three, steel casement windows. There are no double-sized rooms on the second floor of the addition. The classrooms exhibit classic 1950s streamlined construction in their simple, function-first, use of painted cement block wall surfaces, wide, glazed tile door framing and base molding, in-room metal teacher locker, and centered chalk board on the horizontal wall opposite the window wall. At the north end of the corridor is located a restroom facility and a metal and concrete stairwell descending to the first floor.

The first floor of the Addition is of identical construction and layout as the second floor. Located at the seam of the addition and original building is the previously described secondary entrance. Its entrance hall, which connects to the newly lengthened main corridor, is also constructed of cinder block and wide, glazed ceramic tiles. This hall contains a small built-in glass display case and a door into the original Domestic Science room, now converted to the school library. To the north, down the main corridor, are located several classrooms which were designated as elementary classrooms (grades 1-4) at the time the Addition was added.

The vertical (east-west) leg of the 1959 addition is a one-story structure. It was apparently designed to house all of the kindergarten and early elementary grades of the newly consolidated Midview School District. As such, most rooms have built-in sink and cabinet areas.

The walls are, again, painted cinder block and wide, glazed tile, the floors, vinyl tile and the doors, of metal or simple wood design. Each room includes two window groupings of three casement windows each. On this leg, on the southern/playground face, is located the new kitchen-cafeteria room. It is of the same construction, the cafeteria being the only double-sized room in Addition. The Grafton School building was used continuously as a school until June 2005. The only structural changes that exist are the relatively minor partition walls noted above, the loss of some original doors and baseboards, the bricking-in of the gymnasium windows and cafeteria-gym passageway, and the lowering of ceilings. The original exterior treatments, the floor plan, corridors, interior wall and floor treatments, much wood trim, some slate blackboards, and the gymnasium/auditorium remain intact.

Behind the building in the northeast corner of the property is a picnic shelter. The structure is open on all sides with four wood corner posts supporting a flat roof.

Grafton School, Grafton Ohio Front of building (2006)
Front of building (2006)

Grafton School, Grafton Ohio Front of building (2006)
Front of building (2006)

Grafton School, Grafton Ohio Rear of building (2006)
Rear of building (2006)

Grafton School, Grafton Ohio Windows (2006)
Windows (2006)

Grafton School, Grafton Ohio Original library, 2<sup>nd</sup> floor (2006)
Original library, 2nd floor (2006)

Grafton School, Grafton Ohio Main entrance (2006)
Main entrance (2006)

Grafton School, Grafton Ohio Classroom in addition (2006)
Classroom in addition (2006)

Grafton School, Grafton Ohio Front and south side of building (2006)
Front and south side of building (2006)

Grafton School, Grafton Ohio Front of building (2006)
Front of building (2006)

Grafton School, Grafton Ohio Addition (2006)
Addition (2006)