• A Brief History of Magnolia Schools

    Provided by the Magnolia Area Historical Society

     Early Magnolia Schools

    In early years, Magnolia education was provided in scattered small schools, such as Knotts School, the Eight-Cornered Schoolhouse, and nine one-room elementary Rose Township schools, including Pleasant Vale, Walnut Grove, Woods View, Morges, Beggars Run, Lindentree, and others.  Rose Township also had a two-room high school 4 ½ miles outside Magnolia.

     In 1834 a log school was built for $40 east of Trinity Lutheran Church on Harrison Street, attended by Stark County students.  Carroll County students attended a school south of Magnolia.  In 1868 these two schools combined to form the Magnolia Special School District.


     Magnolia School – North Main Street

     In 1869 a new frame building was built on the site of the present-day Magnolia Village Hall on North Main Street.  The land was donated by Augustus R. Elson, owner of the Magnolia Flouring Mill.  In 1896 the frame building was moved to East Carrollton Street, and a four-room brick building was built in its place (see photo below).


    Old Magnolia School

    Because of overcrowding in 1922, a separate building of two rooms was added on the northwest corner of the school grounds. Grades one and two met downstairs, grades three through six met in the new building in the parking lot, and three years of high school met upstairs. If students wanted to continue their education, they traveled to other schools, such as McKinley High School in Canton. In 1931 the additional building was moved down Harrison Street to become the Grange Hall.


     Grange Hall


    The 1896 brick schoolhouse is still standing and is presently used as Magnolia’s Village Hall, with Council Chambers and Police Headquarters downstairs and Boy Scout meeting rooms upstairs.


    Magnolia Town Hall

    Magnolia High School – Harrison Street

    In 1930 a levy passed to build a new Magnolia School for $90,000 on Harrison Street. Opening in 1931, the school housed both the elementary and high school, with an enrollment of about 400 students. It included a combined auditorium and gymnasium, 14 classrooms, a library, and a large study hall. It had a staff of twelve regular teachers and two special teachers.

    School teams were called the “Panthers”, and school colors were orange and black. In 1948 the undefeated football team won the Eastern Ohio Six-Man Football League. In 1949 the Magnolia Seniors began publishing a school paper, called the “Magpie”.

    Magnolia Elementary School

    In 1954 Magnolia High School consolidated with Waynesburg and East Sparta/Sandyville High Schools, with the opening of Sandy Valley High School on Route 183. Magnolia School became an elementary and junior high school. From 1968-1970 it was a middle school for grades 7 and 8. From 1971 to 2008 the school was an elementary school. In 1972 half-day Kindergarten classes were started, becoming all-day, every day in 2000. From 1977-2008, Magnolia School served all Kindergarten, first and second grade student in the district. With the opening of the new Sandy Valley Local campus on Route 183 in 2008, the school closed and was demolished.


    A Brief History of Waynesburg Schools

    Provided by the Magnolia Area Historical Society

    Early Waynesburg Schools

    Early education in Waynesburg was provided in scattered one-room schoolhouses, such as Barnes Country School, Plains School, Hill Grove School, Indian Run School, and others. The first school on the West Lisbon and West Street site was Waynesburg Union School, built in 1855-56.


    Old Waynesburg School

    It originally was a four-room brick structure with a bell tower. A south wing was added in 1872, and a high school course was adopted in 1893. Due to the growth of Waynesburg and new laws requiring school attendance, Union School was too small. It was demolished in 1911.

    Waynesburg High School

    In 1911 construction began on the same site for a new Waynesburg High School. It was built with six rooms in an L shape, with two rooms added later making the building square. In 1918 it was designated the “Waynesburg Village School District” by the State Board of Education.


    Waynesburg High School

    The school once again became over-crowded. In the 1920’s Whitacre-Greer Fireproofing Company’s settlement, Newtown, leased its church to the school for extra space, and the school also rented space from Brown’s Post Office Building on South Market Street.

    Waynesburg High School, First Addition

    In 1927 a new cornerstone was laid, adding on to the existing building. It was paid for by bonds issued by the Board in the amount of $70,000.

    Third Waynesburg High School

    Added were the school front, auditorium, chemistry laboratory, home economics laboratory, and new offices for principal and superintendent. There was a staff of twelve teachers.

    Waynesburg High School, Second Addition

    Another school addition was dedicated in 1939, built with a grant from the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works. Costing about $45,000, it added five classrooms, two washrooms, a study hall, a storeroom, new gymnasium floor, new outside doors, the stokers, new hot water tank, terrazzo floors, new drinking fountains, and a new roof.

    Final Waynesburg High School

    The students were called the Waynesburg Mighty Mohawks with school colors of blue and gold. They became well known for their athletic teams, with the basketball team participating in seven state tournaments. The 1951 basketball team was state runner-up. In addition to the public schools, the village of Waynesburg has had a parochial school. St. James Church laid its cornerstone in 1928, with the neighboring building which houses St. James Elementary School erected in 1965. St. James School continues to provide a Catholic education for area preschool and elementary children.

    With the consolidation of the area high schools and construction of Sandy Valley High School in 1955, Waynesburg became an elementary and junior high school. Upon the construction of the junior high addition to S.V. High School in 1970, Waynesburg served elementary students only. From 1977-2008 the school provided an education to all third and fourth grade students in Sandy Valley. Upon opening of the new Sandy Valley Schools campus on Route 183 in 2008, Waynesburg School closed and was demolished.


    A Brief History of East Sparta/Sandyville Schools

    Provided by the Magnolia Area Historical Society

    Early East Sparta Schools

    Early East Sparta School

    Early East Sparta education was provided in small schoolhouses in Pike Township such as Greenridge, Guests, Henlines, McKinney’s, Bowman, Battlesburg, and Melscheimer Schools. The first school specifically for East Sparta children was on Farber Street, one mile east of Sparta. The first school within the town of East Sparta was erected in 1875, but burned in 1882. A two-story building was built on the Poplar Street grounds, but later moved to Main Street, becoming Haskell’s Store. A new East Sparta School was then built on Poplar Street, with a four-room addition in 1911 (see photo above).


    1926 East Sparta High School Addition

    In 1925 a bond issue worth $56,000 was approved by the community to build another addition. In fall 1926 the new East Sparta School building opened, connected to the earlier school by a tunnel. (See photo below.)

    East Sparta High School

    The students were called the “Spartans”, with school colors of red and white. Grade school students attended the original school, and high school students were in the new addition.

    Sandyville Schools

    As early as 1816, Mrs. Mary Ann Nixon, a widow, taught school in her home in Sandyville. Two early schools built in Sandyville included a log cabin at the south gate of the Old Sandyville Cemetery, and another school south of the Grange Hall on High Street. It is probable that one of those schools was the building listed in Sandyville history records as an 1822 log church and schoolhouse, the first public building erected in Sandyville. Tunnel Hill School was built southeast of Sandyville in 1870. None of these early schoolhouses remain. Another brick school was built in 1877, consisting of two rooms upstairs and two down. This Sandyville School was abandoned in 1923, but is still standing.

    April 27, 1924 was the Cornerstone laying for a new Sandyville School, near the site of the 1877 school. Sandyville School (pictured below) was a six-classroom building with an auditorium.

    Sandyville School

    In 1935 Sandyville became a part of the Stark County School system. In 1936, Sandyville joined East Sparta to become the East Sparta/Sandyville School District. Although the high school students graduated from East Sparta-Sandyville High School, Sandyville School continued to serve elementary school students. In 1974 the school became the district bus garage, and it was demolished in 1998.


    East Sparta/Sandyville School

    In the 1950’s, the older portion of East Sparta/Sandyville School was torn down, allowing for more playground space. In 1954 it consolidated with Magnolia and Waynesburg Schools, upon the opening of Sandy Valley High School on Route 183. Until 1968, however, East Sparta School served both elementary and junior high students. From 1968 to 2008, it was an elementary school. Restructuring of the district resulted in all Sandy Valley Local fifth and sixth grade students attending East Sparta School from 1977-2008. With the building of the new Sandy Valley Local campus on Route 183 in 2008, the building was demolished.


    A Brief History of Sandy Valley High School

    Provided by the Magnolia Area Historical Society


    Sandy Valley High School – 1954

    Due to overcrowding in 1948 in the separate village high schools, Dr. M. Z. Pond, superintendent of East Sparta Schools, suggested combining Magnolia, East Sparta, Sandyville, and Mineral City Schools. Mineral City declined the plan, but Waynesburg School District asked to be included. This consolidation was approved by the Stark County Board of Education July 7, 1950, forming the Sandy Valley Local School District.


    A bond issue was placed on the ballot to raise $590,000 for a new high school. Several parades were held by the school bands and students urging a vote for the bond issues. The bond issue passed in 1951. Dr. Pond was hired as a consultant on the construction of the proposed high school. Pond made a study of the designs of different schools and the needs of the district, and made recommendations to the architect, Ralph G. Dix, Jr. of Canton. The building would be located at the corner of State Routes 183 and 800 on land that had been the Samuel Duerr Farm. The school would serve grades 9-12. Students in grades 1-8 would attend their neighborhood schools. At that time Kindergarten was not offered.


    Ferrell Construction Co, Inc. was the General Contractor. The High School was constructed of brick, block, and glazed and ceramic tile, with most of the materials manufactured in the area. The one-story construction included 16 classrooms and a combined gymnasium, auditorium, and cafeteria.


    Just before the High School opening in 1954, a September 3rd Summer Festival was held in Magnolia Park. It gave students from all the villages a chance to mingle. The Sandy Valley Cardinal Marching Band and majorettes made their debut, sporting brand new uniforms. In the summer, the marching bands, football teams, and cheerleaders had already combined to practice, helping to bring the students together before the school year started. Students voted to call themselves the “Cardinals”, with school colors of red and gray.

     First Sandy Valley High School

    Sandy Valley Junior High Addition

    An addition to Sandy Valley High School was started in July 1969 and completed for the September 1970 school year opening. This more than doubled the size of the original school, providing classrooms for junior high use. The contractor was A. A. Knoch & Sons, Inc.

    Sandy Valley Junior Senior High School


    The additional area held a new classroom wing, a shop area, and a small gymnasium, which was the only area not completed for the September opening. The cafeteria was remodeled, and the kitchen doubled in size.


    Sandy Valley High School - 2009

    Due to concerns about school facility conditions across Ohio, the state legislature created the Ohio School Facilities Commission in 1997. This agency provided funding and oversite for renovation and building of new schools across the state. This provided Sandy Valley with the opportunity to build a new campus with financial assistance. Partial funding was provided by the Ohio School Facilities Commission, with the community passing a levy for the local funding share. Community meetings were held to receive input for the design of the new structures. Former superintendent Warren “Rock” Van Fossen was called on to be site supervisor for the new construction.


    The elementary schools in Magnolia, Waynesburg, and East Sparta were opened to the public for walk-throughs in 2008. Many in the community took advantage of the opportunity to take a final look. Local historical societies set up displays in the school hallways. School staff organized and boxed materials for the move to the new school under the guidance of Sandy Valley Schools Director of Operations, Doug Neading.


    Superintendent David Janofa and the Sandy Valley Board of Education arranged for local historical societies and non-profit organizations to obtain items from the schools at no charge. The graduation composite photographs, display cases, documents, and other historic items would now be preserved for the community to appreciate for years to come. Following this distribution of donated items, the remainder of the school contents were sold at auction by Kiko Auctioneers on September 6, 2008. The elementary schools were then demolished.


    The new elementary school opened in Fall 2008, and the new high school opened in January 2009. This school campus includes up-to-date technology capabilities, larger classrooms, security features, and handicap accessibility.

    Current Sandy Valley Middle School High School

    On April 8, 2009 a ceremony was held at the new Sandy Valley High School auditorium to open the time capsules from the former elementary schools. Many in the community attended and reminisced.


    Most of the former high school building was demolished, but parts were saved and remodeled for use as Sandy Valley’s Central Office. Newer portions, such as the smaller gymnasium, the remodeled art room on the south side of the building, the technology room, and a portion of the cafeteria were retained for district use.