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Alexis I. du Pont Middle School (Public School, United School Districts 23 and 75)
Intended to be the finest public school building in the state outside of Wilmington, the Avondale-stone structure with curving half-timbered ornamentation was erected in nine months in a field donated by the DuPont Company. Chief benefactor Francis G. du Pont (for whose father the school was named) stressed at the dedication that it was not a du Pont family school but a truly public facility. The project was the first major one for James M. Smyth, later one of Wilmington's busiest contractors, thanks in part to the patronage of Francis. An arched, stone entrance porch with a polygonal roof stood between two big, turretlike classroom bays, and chimneys rose above the stone ends. Lattice windows were replaced at an early date. The much-enlarged facility became a high school in 1952, then a middle school (a new concept at the time) in 1966.
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