Our Past | 1960: Big turnout for dedication of industrial arts building

Selected by Karen Larsen

The Waterville School band and shop building located on Chelan Avenue was officially named after shop teacher Edward J. Rejniak when he retired in 1981. Rejniak drew out the original concept design for the building and held classes there following its construction. The following excerpts come from an article published in the Feb. 18, 1960 edition of the Waterville Empire-Press.


450 Attend the Dedication of New School Building Here

Dedication ceremonies for the new $130,000 Industrial Arts and Home Economics Building for the Waterville School District attracted 450 folks here Saturday afternoon and evening.

There was an open house at the new building with parents, friends and guests going through the new building in the afternoon and evening. The PTA had an excellent turnout for their annual chili feed and sales of the PTA cookbook boomed to cut down on the balance due for the new school band uniforms.

The Waterville High band made their first appearance in their new uniforms and presented a short concert prior to the dedication service. Band leader Carl Wheelon, attired in a neat band leader’s uniform, and his student band members made a very impressive appearance.

Superintendent Wheelon introduced the guests present for the dedication ceremony. They include school directors from the non-high school districts who participated in the financing of the new building. On the speakers platform and introduced were Mrs. Esther Viebrock, Douglas; Mrs. Hazel Knemeyer, school director and member of the advisory council; school board members Charlie Clements, Charles Bisbee, Clyde Jones and Chuck Viebrock; and Ralph Madtson, Withrow school director and member of the advisory council.

Mrs. Florence Dahlke, county Superintendent of Schools and the main speaker, paid tribute to the teamwork and selfless efforts of the advisory council who worked on the new building plans for almost a year before final plans were made for the bond sale. Dahlke paid special tribute to Ed Rejniak, shop teacher, for his work, assisted by his students in getting the equipment moved and repaired.

Acknowledgements were given to the following for donation of trucks and labor for the dirt fill which saved the school district $1,800. They included Lyonel Knemeyer; Commissioners Roy Nelson, Eugene Weimerskirch and Norman McLandress; County Engineer Pat Thomson; County Road Foreman Reinhardt Dahlke; and trucks furnished by the following: Chuck Viebrock (driver Clayton Viebrock); Waterville Union Grain driver Roy Bartholomew; Oliver Nelson, Paris Wainscott, Leland Loebsack, Pete Bymers, Jack Buse (driver Mike Brown), and Neil Nelson (driver Bob Borders Jr.).