Ross designed the modestly restrained school in Minto (1895; Major Avenue at 3rd Street) and this more formal and classically inspired Pisek School. Built eighteen years apart, they reflect the evolution of public school design and architecture in Walsh County at the outset and closing of the Second Great Dakota Boom. Both schools have similar rectangular plans with classrooms organized around a central stair hall. The four-story Pisek School’s formal symmetrical composition is constructed of red pressed brick with a poured-concrete foundation and Bedford limestone trim. Above the projecting central bay is a large bell tower with four round-arched openings under a pyramidal roof. The tower still contains its original school bell. The gymnasium on the school’s top floor was later subdivided into classrooms. Between 1932 and 1941, St. Francis Sisters served as teachers at this public school. The cause of this unusual arrangement is unknown, but it may have been related to a lack of funds for public-school teacher salaries during the Great Depression and that the families who sent their children to the school were mostly Catholic.
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