Webpage created: February 24, 2016
Webpage updated: March 24, 2021
JOHNSTON TERRACE BOARD SCHOOL
The Devonport School Board purchased the site for Johnston Terrace Board School in Keyham Road in 1895 from Lord Saint Levan for the sum of £2,000. The plans for the School were approved by the Devonport Council on Wednesday December 9th 1896. The School would accommodate 346 girls and 350 infants.
On the evening of Monday June 28th 1897 the chairman of the Devonport School Board, the Reverend W H Allin, laid the memorial stone. Designed by Messrs Hine and Odgers, architects, the contract worth £7355 was being undertaken by Messrs Matcham & Company, from Plymouth. The clerk of works was Mr Hoskyn. The two-storey building would house the infants' department on the ground floor and the girls' department on the first floor, where there would also be cookery school, demonstration room, scullery, and cloak- and class-rooms. There would be separate entrances to each department. Each floor was arranged around a central assembly hall, the infants having six class-rooms while there would be seven on the first floor. Each floor would also have rooms for the staff and for storage. There were to be mezzanine floors at each end of the building. In time a boys' school would be erected on the higher part of the site.
It was brought into use in October 1898. The official inauguration ceremony took place on Tuesday November 29th 1898 when Admiral the Honourable Sir E R Fremantle, KCB, CMG, Naval Commander-in-Chief, declared the School open. One of those present at the ceremony was Mr A R Debnam, the contractor, but it is not clear why he was present given that the building was allegedly erected by Messrs Matcham. It may be that the original contractor defaulted.
In 1901 attendance was stated to be 632 boys, 347 girls and 350 infants. The Master was Mr William G Reed and the Mistress was Miss Annie Saunders. In charge of the Infants was Miss Louisa Redcliffe.