Live Oak-New Smyrna Beach School

Live Oak School0002                       Photo from The Odyssey of an American School System

Live Oak-New Smyrna Beach School

Second Street & Live Oak

New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Built 1924-25

Demolished 1982

Not a great deal is known about the evolution of this New Smyrna school in the 1920s , but we find its beginning with the School Board meeting in May of  1925 when  “…Upon the recommendation of the local Board of Trustees, District No. 8, Mr. W. J. Carpenter was given the commission to draw plans and specifications and perform all other duties usually performed by an architect in connection with the erection of the proposed new building at New Smyrna.”

 When it opened in 1925-26 “…It was named the Live Oak Grammar and High School.  It was a three-story stucco building with glossy wooden floors, sash windows and steam heat, serving students in grades one through twelve.  It also served as an emergency shelter for the entire community…”

Having served students in all grades from one to twelve, during its tenure this building served as the New Smyrna Beach High School, the Live Oak Junior Senior High School, the Live Oak Grammar and High School and the New Smyrna Beach Middle School.  During the 1930’s it was closed temporarily due to termite infestation.  After fumigation and renovation it was reopened and served the community under various names, until finally demolished in 1983. This is the only Carpenter building so far discovered to have suffered from termite or other damage, other than wear and tear over the years.

Site of former Live Oak School

Site of former Live Oak School

The site is now occupied by county recreational buildings and a parking lot.

If you have any information about this subject that you think may be of interest to other reders please leave a comment below.







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  1. In 1977-78 a time capsule was buried on this site.

    • Thanks for the info. Think there are plans to open the capsule on the 100th anniversary of the school in 2027? Jack

    • hi there – would you happen to know the whereabouts of the time capsule on site, so that City staff can assist with locating it?

      • Hi Michel,
        There seems to be a lot of interest in this school designed by architect William J. Carpenter for the Volusia County School Board. I haven’t found anything in the press about the capsule, but surely someone will remember. You could try a notice in your local paper, or the Beacon in DeLand. I hope your query to “Anonymous” brings an answer.
        If any of our readers would like to contribute anecdotes or pictures I will be glad to publish them here.

  2. I have been researching the time capsule for the city. The school was demolished in 1991. The city purchased the school and the land in 1987.

  3. I was commissioner to develop as-built drawings of the Live Oak Street School and still have the plans I developed. The demolition of the school occurred sometime in the 1990’s.

    • Sid,
      Interesting. We are always glad to hear from our readers and pass on information. A couple of questions here if you would. What was the purpose of your commission? Would it be possible to photograph the plans you created for publication here?
      During your work did you notice any similarity to other schools Mr. Carpenter designed in Volusia County?
      Any other comments you can make from an architectural viewpoint would be appreciated.
      Thank you,
      Jack Carpenter

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