This photograph is part of a series showing mostly construction projects undertaken by the Bureau of Public Works during the American colonial era. All photographs have been digitally extracted from the Quarterly Bulletins1 of the bureau and processed using graphics editing software to improve quality. It goes without saying that the eventual output of each extract was always going to be dependent on the quality of the original scan.
To stimulate economic growth in the country and improve the standard of living, the new American colonial government at the dawn of the twentieth century started undertaking various infrastructure projects around the Philippines, including Batangas. These projects were put into execution by the Bureau of Public Works, which then documented these for posterity in its quarterly bulletins or annual reports.
Because public education, something that the previous Spanish colonial government had left pretty much in the hands of the church and private individuals, was among the top priorities of the Americans, it goes without saying that the construction of schools was a necessity.
The Americans had a standard plan for school building construction, something created by the Bureau of Architecture. By the early 1930s, the colonial government had already constructed school buildings around Batangas. An example of a standard school building is shown below, one built in the Municipality of Balayan, described as concrete with G.I. roof and dimensions cited as 2-24.90 x 11.70 x 8.80, equivalent to 6,913.50 cubic meters. The building cost a total of ₱44,245.70.
|A standard school building in Balayan. Image digitally extracted from the 1931 Annual Report of the Bureau of Public Works.