Winnemucca Grammar School

68. Winnemucca Grammar School

522 Lay Street

The land for this school was donated in 1889 by Dr. T. C. Hanson, Judge Bonnifield, and George Nixon.  A couple months later, the construction of a two-story stone building was completed. Winnemucca’s school then relocated from the wooden building that once sat where Jack in the Box is now, into one of the most impressive structures around.  However, the 1889 school building didn’t take long to outgrow.   

In 1912, an auxiliary building was constructed to house the high school grades.  It was also used as a gym, shop and even a temporary courtroom. While at one time, Winnemucca Grammar School had an entirely separate building in which only Native American children were taught, later another room with a separate entrance was added to the auxiliary building for the Native children. In 1990, it was determined that the price of demolishing the 1912 auxiliary and constructing a new building was more cost effective than renovating the structure.


In 1927, the 1889 two-story Winnemucca Grammar School was greatly improved on, but not demolished. Architect, Richard C. Watkins of Salt Lake City, incorporated an old idea into a new, modern and contemporary building. The walls of the old school building were braced to the new building, and the new brick work bonded to the old. The walls of the gymnasium are formed partly by the outside walls of the 1889 two-story symmetrical brick building. The school is attractive with its red brick exterior, white trim, tiled floors, glazed brick interior walls, and interior statues, including one of Sarah Winnemucca.  Winnemucca Grammar School still serves the community today, over 130 years after the original construction. 

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