Bath High School Preservation
Bath High School by Frans Van Barr
Honor & Glory

Architecture and Plans

Re-Use Feasibility Study
Engineering Study

The Bath School was constructed in phases. The classroom buildings were constructed between 1918 and 1921, the gym in 1939 and the kitchen added in the early 1950s. Over time the interiors of the buildings have been slightly altered to address the changing needs of the school; while the exterior of the school is largely unaltered and very much reads as it did during the school’s years of operation from 1918-1990.

1918 Building
The first building to be constructed on the site was he 1918 classroom building. This west-facing two-story, five-bay hipped-roof brick structure is laid in six: one common bond. The structure was topped with a shingled roof with exposed rafter tails. Small brick chimneys pierce the roof-line. Windows on the lower level of the building were paired six-over-six double-hung sash windows. The upper level had tripled/ribboned six-over-six double-hung sash windows. The building was accessed at the ground level through a solid door in the central bay with a six-light transom. The upper level was accessed by a frame exterior stair on the south elevation that led to a solid door with three-light transom.

The 1918 building has seen the most alteration. The minor changes, which are common to all three classroom buildings, are the change in roof material from shingle to metal (date unknown) and the enclosure of the exterior stairs which occurred in the early 1930s. The most dramatic change to the building occurred in the early 1950s when the large one-story kitchen structure was added off the building’s façade. In addition to obscuring the building’s façade all the lower level classrooms were eliminated and the interior walls removed to create a cafeteria to serve the school’s approximately 1,500 students. The school’s original kitchen on the upper level kept its stove and Hoosier and along with its adjacent classroom served as the school’s Home Economics department.

1920 Building
The 1920 building was the second building constructed on the site and is similar in size scale and finish to the 1918 building. This west-facing two-story, five-bay hipped-roof brick structure is laid in six: one common bond. The structure was topped with a shingled roof with exposed rafter tails. Small brick chimneys pierce the roof-line. Windows on the both levels are tripled/ribboned six-over-six double-hung sash windows. The central entry bay on the lower level façade is inset under a brick-arch with a keystone. The entry-doors are half-glazed with multi-light sidelights and transom. Exterior stairs accessed the upper level on the north and south elevations.

At the time the building was constructed it housed five classrooms on the upper level and four on the lower level. When the kitchen and cafeteria were added in the early 1950s the school’s offices were moved into the first floor’s northwest classroom and that room was divided into three smaller rooms.

1921 Auditorium Building
The final building to be constructed on the site during the school’s initial building phase was the 1921 Auditorium Building. In keeping with the existing school buildings the1921 Auditorium structure is a two-story brick structure laid in six: one common bond under a hipped-roof with exposed rafter tails. Small brick chimneys pierce the roofline. Unlike the two classroom buildings the auditorium’s façade faces north - on the building’s short end. The entirety of the buildings lower level is the auditorium; which remains intact with stage, side rooms and original seats. The buildings upper story retains its five original classrooms. The classroom that stretches across the south elevation of the building’s upper story was converted to the library in the early 1950s when the cafeteria was added.

During the construction of the third classroom building in 1921 the wide, two-story hallway that connects the three buildings was created. This hallway housed the student’s lockers, served as the lunchroom until the 1950s, and provided the school’s only interior stair. The enclosure of small parts of this hallway allowed for the addition storage rooms a small supply store and the addition of bathrooms with flushing toilets – one of only three in the county according to 1930 Beaufort County Schools records. The two-story hallway/connector is brick on each elevation except for the west where it is the only non-brick finish on the school’s exterior.

1939 Vocational Building
Twenty years after the Bath School was begun the vocational building was added. The one-and-one-half-story west-facing gable-roof structure with two one-story wings off the north and south elevations was constructed in 1939 by the Public Works Administration. With the exception of being constructed in brick the buildings form and finishing elements are unlike the school’s three revious buildings. Laid in running bond the tall one-story main block sits under a front gable roof. The two entry doors have been bricked-in with a solid wood door added to the southern entry. Tall nine-over-twelve windows line the main block’s north and south elevations. The one-story side gable ells that flank the main block are each seven-bays wide with nine-over-nine double-hung sash windows. Interior brick chimneys are present in each of the ells. An exterior stovepipe brick chimney site on the rear of the main block.

The entirety of the Bath School campus retains a high degree of integrity. Exterior alterations are limited to the replacement of the original shingle roof with a metal roof (date unknown), the enclosure of the original stairwells (completed in the 1930s) and the 1950s addition of the kitchen. The interior of each of these buildings is remarkably intact. While the windows have been boarded up on the outside, they remain intact when viewed from the interior. With the exception of the changes related to the cafeteria, all classrooms retain their original doors with transoms, blackboards, beaded-board interior walls, coat closets and hardwood floors. The buildings even retain their original ceilings with modern lighting added through wiring added on top of the ceiling’s finish material (as opposed to dropping the ceiling altogether).