The East Tupelo school, constructed 1936, was designed by architects N. W. Overstreet and A. Hays Town. The building contains an auditorium and classrooms. Sadly, the beautiful original entrance is hidden behind those metal awnings that cover the sidewalks, and the view is obscured by the trees. You can get a tiny glimpse of it in the photograph in the lower right corner in the mosaic below.
The Hattiesburg American ran an article September 30, 1935 (p. 1, 7) that East Tupelo had been awarded $45,454 for the construction of a high school, gymnasium, and teacher’s home, funded through the Public Works Administration following the approval in July 22, 1935 of the application for construction. Earlier in the month, Biloxi Daily Herald ran the story that the state had been awarded 72 school buildings, with 8 of them in Lee County. A total of $360,553 was intended to construct 8 buildings with 45 classrooms and accommodations, including 5 high school buildings, 2 elementary schools, and additions to an existing school (September 8, 1936, p. 5).
The files of projects approved after 1935 and completed by 1940 do not reflect Tupelo schools ever received the funding that had been previously approved. The Inventory of Federal Archives, 1940, reported Mississippi had not completed many of the school buildings for which they had obtained approval.
Regardless of how it was funded, the Lawhon school complex remains in use, and a number of buildings have been added over the years. Next, we will take a look at another East Tupelo school building and generate a few more unanswered questions.