1930 Cheney High School
Backstory and Context
In early 1929, Harmony District 56, District 133, and the western two-thirds of District 317 consolidated with the Cheney School District. In anticipation of the overcrowding this was to create, a special school board meeting was held on February 11, 1929 to discuss building a new high school. Superintendent P.F. Gaiser and board members Louis C. Van Patten, Dr. William Conway, and Noble E. Rolfe developed a plan to present to the public. It included converting the 1913 high school into a junior high, demolishing the 1893 school building, salvaging the bricks, and building a new high school on the site for no more than $125,000. The voters approved the plan, and the contract was awarded to George Shriner of Walla Walla.
The 3-story building is 99 feet wide by 172 feet long. It is made of brick with terra cotta trim. The new school had 12 classrooms wired for radio. There were modern equipment for home economics, manual arts, and science and biology labs. On the 3rd floor was a 750 seat auditorium, with an additional 500 seats available through sliding doors to the Study Hall. The gymnasium on the ground floor could seat up to 1,000 spectators with its innovative folding bleachers. Adjacent to the gym were modern boys and girls locker rooms with showers.
The new high school gymnasium was inaugurated on January 7, 1930 with a basketball game against Davenport. Cheney defeated Davenport 18-14 in front of a crowd of 600.
On January 22, 1930 226 students and 15 faculty moved into the new high school. J.W. Hodge remained as principal; Omer Pence, who had been hired in fall 1929, continued as junior high principal. Clarence J. Cooil replaced P.F. Gaiser as superintendent, a position he held until 1948. Charles Salt took over as superintendent in 1948. He had served as principal of the junior high school for several years.
Fall 1967 saw the building renamed Fisher Junior High School. After the new Junior High opened in 1977, the Fisher Building continued to house the administration offices, as well as homes school and other special district functions until 2015.