Echols County School First Gymnasium

Echols County School First Gymnasium

The first gymnasium for the Echols County School was built around 1932 when the principal, Mr. R. H. Hill, initiated the project of building one. Prior to that building, all basketball games were played on the "dirt courts" on the school ground.

Mr. Hill was credited with getting the people of the community interested and participating in the project. Assistance from the WPA (Works Progress Administration) finally provided that first gymnasium that became the center for community activities for many years. It was also referred to by all as "the Shell" and rarely ever called the gymnasium.

That first gym had wood burning heaters mounted in beds of sand. There was no scoreboard, so the boys would hang numbers on the wall to indicate the score during a game.
By the 1950's, improvements and changes were needed. New gas-type heaters, suspended from the ceilings, were added; new flooring, and a new roof, even a scoreboard clock, was purchased.

Chinkypin II, published in 1976, by the Echols County High School Composition Class records interviews about the gymnasium by former players, principals, and referees who enjoyed reminiscing about the "good old gym (or Shell) days"!

Many people also can recall the period of time when a Canning Plant was in the back of the building. Citizens of the community brought their vegetables to be canned.

In the 1970's, the old Gym (or Shell) was torn down and replaced with a modern brick building still in use, though it too has had improvements and additions.

Submitted by Dorothy H. Price, Retired Teacher and Sponsor of Compilation of Chinkypin I, II, and III and Historian of Echols County Historical Society.