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Walled Lake Consolidated Schools

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District History

Students in front of a WLCSD bus in 1923

The Early Days

Stonecrest one-room school

Students of Walled Lake started their education in one-room schools in the 1800's. Stonecrest School, still located at 207 Liberty, was used from 1860 to 1895. In 1895, a two-room Standard School, now the Masonic Temple located on West Walled Lake Drive opened and housed grades one through four in one room and grades five through eight in the other. When the Walled Lake Consolidated School opened its doors for the first time in 1922, the students from the two-room Standard School on Walled Lake’s Main Street paraded the mile distance to the new building carrying American flags.

Walled Lake School 1909

The year 1922 found Walled Lake and the United States in a time of great prosperity. This era was known as the “Roaring Twenties.” A popular dance, “The Charleston,” was introduced; King Tut’s Tomb was found; the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. was dedicated by President Warren G. Harding; and the Walled Lake Consolidated School on Pontiac Trail with its fifteen classrooms was dedicated by the citizens of Commerce Township. The District #5 Fractional Walled Lake Consolidated School was the first consolidated school in Oakland County and one of the first five schools in the 83 counties of Michigan. The total student enrollment of the new 52 square mile Walled Lake Consolidated School District was less than 200 students and included grades one through twelve.
Let’s take a look at some of the “Good Old Days” of the Walled Lake Consolidated School District’s ten decades of history.


  • 1922-1927: Alfred H. Upton
  • 1927-1932: H.E. Nelsman
  • 1932-1935: William H. Taylor
  • 1935-1945: C.A. Hoffman
  • 1945-1964: Clifford H. Smart
  • 1964-1965: Rolland J. Langerman (Acting)
  • 1965-1970: George G. Garver
  • 1970-1971: Rolland J. Langerman (Acting)
  • 1971-1985: Don P. Sheldon, Ph.D.
  • 1985-1987: LeRoy R. Bartman, Ed.D.
  • 1987-1988: Barry W. Roseborough, Ph.D. (Interim)
  • 1988-2006: James R. Geisler, Ph.D.
  • 2006-2010: William A. Hamiltion, Ed.D.
  • 2010-2022: Kenneth Gutman
  • 2022: Michael Lonze, Ph.D. (Interim)
  • 2022-Present: John Bernia, Ed.D.

The First Decade (1922-1931)

WLCSD building in 1922

As originally built, the Walled Lake Consolidated School Building contained three levels in a two and one-half’ story structure. This structure had a large cornerstone outside the front entrance with the name of the architect, Bryon K. Mills; the construction company, Wesson Company of Detroit; and the school official of the time immortalized in a three foot wide stone. The hollow interior of the cornerstone also contained many mementos of the time.

The brick facade of the building was decorated with many current and popular art deco details such as an open book, scrolls, flowers, and diamond and circle shapes.

When visitors first entered the imposing vestibule of the building, they found an Indian good luck sign (swastika) in the terra 7.0 floor entranceway. Upon leaving the entranceway, a series of steps led to the building’s spacious main floor hallway. The swastika is at the top of the stairs.

On the main floor facing east were rooms 108, 110, 112 and 114. With the low number of students in each grade, these classrooms housed the following grades; room 108 - first and second; room 110 - third and fourth; room 112 - fifth and sixth; and room 114 - seventh and eighth. The west side of this floor housed the superintendent’s office, the student bookstore (all textbooks and materials were purchased by students then) and a teacher’s workroom.

At both ends of this floor were staircases which led to the lower and upper floors. The lower floor had four rooms facing east. Two of these were science-related rooms. One was the large agricultural lab (room 6). The other was a general natural science room. There was also a small shop and a storage room. The west side of this floor contained room 5 which housed the additional shops.

The upper floor of the building had four classrooms; 208, 210, 212, and 216 and the high school principal’s office, room 214, facing south. These rooms housed several high school subjects including English, French, algebra, geometry, geography, history, and chemistry. The chemistry room alternated with physics every other year, and this room also held math classes. Geography and history shared a room, as did English and French. Room 208, the Vocal Music Room, had a stage, which was used for the annual junior and senior play rehearsals.

The west side of the upper floor contained a library with a high ceiling and upper projection booth. The library also served as a study hall and assembly room. Next to the library were two classrooms. One room was for business classes, and one was for math classes. They were entered by going through the library. A smaller classroom used for business, English, and typing was just east of it.

The Second Decade (1932-1941)

1935-1936 Basketball Team Photo

The 1930’s were the years of the “Great Depression” in the Walled Lake community and the entire world. It was in this decade that three additions were made to the Walled Lake Consolidated School building. The first two were to accommodate the population growth in the elementary school grades. For this reason, four rooms (115, 116, 217, and 218) were added in 1937. Four others (117, 118, 219, and 220) were constructed in the early 1940’s.

Pewabic Tiles

Terrazzo floors and Pewabic tiled walls adorned the hallways. These tiles are original Pewabic, designed for the school. You can view the entire tile collection and learn more about them in our CEC Tile Collection Booklet. Also around that time, the shops on the west side of the Lower Floor of the school were converted to a combination gymnasium and lunch room. In the late 1950’s, a large concrete block building was constructed at the rear of the main building to house two shops for the industrial arts classes.

The third major addition to the original Walled Lake Consolidated School building occurred in 1939 when the large North Wing was added, using Work Projects Administration (WPA) money. This, the largest addition in the school’s history, contained the big gymnasium/ auditorium with seating for 400 people and the stage. The new gymnasium/auditorium helped make Walled Lake a leader in athletics and drama in the Lakes Area. Also, with the conversion of the old gym to a cafeteria, hot lunches were served for the first time. On the first floor of the addition were the new home economics rooms (101 and 103) with a small room between them for high school interior decorating classes and storage.

The second floor of the 1937 addition contained four classrooms (201, 203, 205, and 206) which were designed especially for the high school students. The hallway in this addition contained the beautiful Pewabic tile work also found in the building’s south wing.