Making Room for Students

During the Depression era, the mine in Garson closed indefinitely and many workers were forced to travel to Falconbridge or all the way to Sudbury to find work. However, despite these hardships, student populations at S.S. #3 continued to rise and by 1937, the school board was forced to rent the United Church in order to provide an additional classroom for students.

Norma Day.  Photo courtesy of "Voices from the Past: Garson Remembers".There was some discussion about building a one-room addition to the school in 1938, but nothing came of the suggestion. Instead, the board decided to stagger the classes of grade 1 through grade 4 to accommodate the number of students. Things became even more difficult during that year when one of the teachers, Miss Norma Day, got married and resigned from her position. While this was a common practice in those days, it left the school short-handed. Rather than retain the services of another teacher, the school board chose to integrate Miss Day's pupils into the already existing classes, thus enlarging class sizes to an outrageous number.

In September of 1940, a new six-room addition was completed on the school and two of these rooms were allocated to special education. By the following year, equipment was purchased for the establishment of a shop class and a home economics class through the receipt of a grant, and in January of 1942, these classes were in operation.

Indoor plumbing and water was implemented in all of the homes and schools in Garson by 1948. Also in this year, Garson's three public schools were united under the title of Township School Area #1 of the Neelon Garson Townships.

By the late 1950's, S.S. #3 was named L.J. Atkinson Public School in honour of the long-standing principal.


Material compiled from Voices from the Past: Garson Remembers and Nickel Centre Yesterdays.

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