Enterprise School

Enterprise School 1925

Photo from Odyssey of An American School System 

ENTERPRISE SCHOOL  AUDITORIUM AND ADDITION

Built 1923-24

Destroyed by fire 1964

 Architect Wm. J. Carpenter AIA started practice in VolusiaCounty in 1922 by designing the Putnam Hotel, having arrived at the beginning of a great expansion period for the area. At this same time the Volusia County School Board, recognizing the need for larger and more modern school educational facilities set about providing suitable schools as rapidly as possible.  As with many others, the Enterprise community, while away from the mainstream of the county, was represented in its own school District and the members of that Board recognized their coming need for expanded facilities

 Their original school was  housed in the vacated Court House Building (1888-1917), and a new two-story frame building had been constructed in 1917 for grades one through eight.  (on right in 1925 photo above).  With the expansion of the curricula to include grades nine and ten more space was needed.

 The School Board, meeting in DeLand in the summer of 1923 had commissioned Mr. Carpenter to design an addition, which was presented to the Board and at the meeting of Oct. 4, 1923 a contract for the work was awarded to Jesse L. Pratt.

 None of the original plans have been found, but a set of the original specifications for the new work does exist in the School Board Archives.  A multipage page document, it has been described by a 21st century contractor as very comprehensive and complete, spelling out the responsibilities of all concerned parties and details on the materials and procedures to be used.  A careful reading discloses that this document was probably “boilerplate” that the architect used on other projects, most notably the Putnam Hotel, but it left little room for future deviations or disagreements between any of the parties involved in the project.

 From a study of the 1925 photograph it appears that the original building was a two-story, square frame building.  The 1923 addition designed by Mr. Carpenter would have been the single story protrusion on the rear, housing the auditorium on one side and other rooms to the side and a small protrusion to the rear. In addition to the auditorium there was a lunchroom, the boy’s shop for manual arts and a home economics classroom.

 In these early days of expansion it appears the School Board considered the   “auditorium & addition” to be a major undertalomg and continually referred to it as “the new building”.  They met at the school on May 14, 1924 and after a thorough inspection the building was officially accepted and accounts settled with Mr. Pratt, the contractor.  The final cost was $9,350.00.

 This 1917 building and addition  was destroyed by fire in 1964 and a similar replacement was built, which has since been moved across the street and is being used as a Community Center.  During its years in the school system the facility has been variously known as Enterprise Elementary, Benson Springs (1927-1937), and Enterprise School.

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