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Ruritan Building (Ceres High School)

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Ceres High School
1931; 1939, 1940, 1950s additions. VA 625, just south of VA 42

Representing in its architectural styling the type of school building promoted by the State Board of Education and often financed by federal New Deal programs, the former school is a U-shaped one-story brick building with twin projecting end pavilions decorated with brick panels laid in a diaper pattern. The facade is punctuated by two recessed entrances separated by a group of five large sash windows, and an unusual feature is the parapet gable with false chimney stacks at each end of the building. The well-preserved interior contains wooden floors, pressed-metal ceilings, and an auditorium stage. The auditorium and a wooden vocational/agricultural building were constructed in 1939 from Public Works Administration (PWA) funds and a stuccoed addition was built onto the front of the latter in 1940. A brick gymnasium with massive corner piers was added to the complex in the early 1950s. The school closed in 1992 and is used for Ruritan and community activities, and the gymnasium is a senior center. The vocational/agricultural building is now a museum honoring Henry C. Groseclose, considered one of the founders of Future Farmers of America (FFA), whose birthplace is within sight of the school.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Anne Carter Lee

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