C.K. McClatchy High School Media Center
The Old and The New
C.K. McClatchy High School began as one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Public Works Administration Projects (PWA) in 1936 and cost approximately $800,000 to build. The high school whose building style is Classicized Moderne architecture was named for C.K. McClatchy who had succeeded his father, James McClatchy, as editor of the Sacramento Bee in 1884 and died in 1936. Students began attending the school in September of 1937. The original library was housed across the hall from its present location.
In 1974 the school board began the process of assessing modernization plans for upgrading the existing facilities. It was noted that the library lacked space for books, audio-visual equipment, and student reproduction
equipment. In 1980 the renovation project was completed which included a brand new, much larger library built directly across the hall from the original where the Fountain Court (aka the Center Court or California Court) had previously existed. The three-basin fountain of tile and terra cotta inscribed with scenes of early California history, an original donation by two of C.K. McClatchy’s daughters, was moved to the east side of the court to accommodate the new library/media center.
In school year 1998-1999, the librarian and a high school senior working on her Girl Scout Gold Award project established a Special Collection Room within the library where the old AV/typing room had been located. The collection in the room was to house valuable first edition and other historic print materials found in closets and cupboards in various areas in the library, CKM archival documents, and the yearbook collection.
The Alumni Association helped in raising funds to restore such titles as: Bancroft’s Works, Vols. 1-39, c. 1889; Harper’s Bazaar Magazine, 13 bound books, c. 1854, 1865, 1870’s; Harper’s Encyclopedia & U.S. History, 10 volumes, c. 1905; The First History of Sacramento City, 1853, c. 1945; Appleton’s Encyclopedia of Biography, c. 1889, 6 volumes; Sacramento City, California (Illustrated), c. 1934, and others. The room also houses books printed by The Nugget Press, a project begun in 1939 as part of the centennial celebration of the founding of Sacramento. The books in this collection were developed and written by different school departments and
published in different years. Most of the titles contain information on early Sacramento and/or California history. This special room is available to alumnae, teachers, and supervised students.
The C.K. McClatchy Media Center currently contains over 22,000 items including books, slides, videotapes, cassettes, and 800+ art prints. Information on these items, including the Special Collection Room
materials, is available through the Accent electronic card catalog. Six computers are Accent dedicated; 18 more computers are connected to the Internet and a variety of CD-ROM research programs as well as the Accent
catalog. The library subscribes to eight online databases, all of which have remote access available to CKM students and staff. A Technology Resource Center with 22 computers was added in 2000 in the space once used as a career center and later as a Nova Net Lab. During the summer of 2005, the TRC was expanded to accommodate a full class of students with 35 computer stations. Teachers can bring their classes in to work on
power point presentations, excel and word projects, and publishing programs. A few students are able to take online college classes as well as students who drop in to work on papers and projects.
C.K. McClatchy High School was added to the national and state historical registry in January of 2002. Restoration projects include the tiled fountain in the court outside the media center and the windows at the front
of the school. Different graduating classes donated the stained glass windows at the back of the library; the large lion stained glass is a gift from the class of 1998 and the class of 1940 donated the two smaller pieces.
The library is a popular place for district meetings, student gatherings, and staff development classes with its warm ambience of the old and the new.