On May 13th, after more than a year of discussion and many changes in plans, the Logan Board of Education sold the site of the old Parry school to William Worley and P.C. Nelson for the sum of $3,000. Architects Monson and Schuab drew up the plans for an eight room schoolhouse. It is not clear when the building was started. One hundred fifty skilled workers built everything needed for the construction on site. The building was completed by the end of November, 1908 and sold to Logan City for the sum of $20,000. The new school was named for John Greenleaf Whittier.
Miss Edith Bowen assumed the role of primary supervisor for the Logan City Schools. The state legislature was persuaded to make teacher training legal at Utah State Agricultural College (USAC), and public schools were then used for training teachers.
The Logan Kiwanis Club urged the Logan City School Board to do something for the underprivileged children in the city. This resulted in The Opportunity School being set up at the Whittier with over 100 students. Staff were hired by USAC who co-sponsored the school.
The first national Summer School was held at USAC. The Whittier teachers were part of this program and were responsible for bringing nationally known educators to USAC during the now famous summer school programs. Some of the more well-known ones were Anne Carroll Moore [New York City Public Library], Dr. Roma Gans [Columbia University], Dr. Helen Heffernan [California State Office of Education], Dr. John Adams [University of London], Dr. Raymond Franzen [University of California], Dr. John Kilpatrick [Columbia University], Dr. Jean Betzner [Columbia University], and Dr. John Childs [University of Chicago].
Mrs. Emma Eccles Jones began teaching kindergarten at the Whittier and continued in that position until 1935-1936. Mrs. Jones worked without pay for three years while her mother held a benefit tea at her home [now the Needham Mansion on center street in Logan] to provide financing for the fledgling program. It is intriguing that Mrs. Ellen Eccles, the mother of Emma Eccles Jones, is also the Ellen Eccles Jones of the Ellen Eccles Theater downtown.
The Peter’s Act was signed which permitted USAC to prepare teachers arts, science, and elementary education. Therefore, the College of Education began negotiations with the Logan City School District to train teachers at the Whittier School.
The Whittier opened as a training school. Addie Swapp was the head teacher from 1928-1932; Edith Bowen, 1932-1936; F.J. Holyoak, 1936-1937; Edith Smith Shaw, 1937-1938; Dean C. Christensen, 1938-1942; and John C. Carlisle, 1946-1957.
The first public school supported Halloween Carnival was held, and proceeds financed the new library.
The upstairs north hall was walled in, and the first library located in a public school in Utah was created. Whittier teachers assisted in the development of the first curriculum guide for the state of Utah. Their approach to teaching and early childhood education was definitely child-centered. The children were responsible for their own yearly goals, and they were always the most important part of the Whittier School.
For $25,000, the kitchen, gymnasium, and restrooms were added on.
Utah State Agricultural College became Utah State University (USU) and the teacher training school was moved to campus and is now known as The Edith Bowen Laboratory School.
The Whittier School began serving fifth and sixth graders as the Adams School Annex.
The Whittier School was closed as a public school by the Logan City School District.
It then became the home of The Clinical Teaching Center, a day training program for intellectually disabled children.
The Clinical Teaching Center moved into a new facility on the USU campus known as the Exceptional Child Center. It is now known as The Center for Persons With Disabilities. This facility was the first of its type to be built in the country.
The Whittier School became the new home for The Alliance for the Varied Arts which used the building as a community arts center until December, 1991.
The school then became the Whittier Community Center and was purchased from the Logan City School District for $51,000. The original tenants were: Cache Aikido Club, Cache Valley Civic Ballet and School of Ballet, Young Artists Guild, Girl Scouts, and the Refugee Center.
The Whittier School was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 25, 2000.
The Whittier Community Center serves more than 1,200 people each week who come to participate in a wide variety of programs.
Volunteers built a 100% disabled-inclusive playground.
The Gym and the Pink Room are remodeled