Skip To Main Content

Jefferson History

From the First Brick

A Chronology

The original Jefferson building was erected in 1939. it was 37,056 square feet in area. Throughout the years, new additions were added to the original building. In the 1950s the number of students grew so a new hall of classrooms was built along with a cafeteria. Also, locker rooms were added to the gym. The 80s came and once again the school grew. The science building was added. In .1994 the area of the science building was doubled. That same year, the seventh grade wing addition was completed. Jefferson Middle School continues to grow! Currently the school has a total square footage of about 113,200 square feet, an increase of over 200 percent!

Jefferson Square Footage

Year Description Square Footage
1939 Original Building 37,056 sq ft
1950 Cafeteria and 6th grade hall addition 15,964 sq ft
1958 Classrooms, hall connecting the original buildingwith 6th grade hall, administration offices andlocker rooms addition 17,148 sq ft
1970 Classrooms and shop addition 6,579 sq ft
1971 Library addition 5,124 sq ft
1974 "New" gym, AKA the "Big" gym 9,858 sq ft
1976 Music building 4,440 sq ft
1988 Science building 3,600 sq ft
1994 7th grade hall and atrium addition

9,892 sq ft

History of Jefferson School

1984 Typing room
Original JMS
Original JMS
Jefferson circa. 1939
Jefferson circa. 1939
Junior High student studies in the shade
Junior High student studies in the shade
On the way to the new Jefferson Junior High
On the way to the new Jefferson Junior High

Architectural Drawings

The lot on the edge of town, covered with desert plants and farm animals, was the selected spot for the new junior high, Jefferson. It would be difficult to build, but this is what the people of Albuquerque needed. It took lots of hard work to build a two-story school like Jefferson in 1939. Without all the machinery we have today, everything had to be done by hand. Materials had to be hauled with pulleys to the upper levels. People from this city of 35,000 (Albuquerque) built the school from blueprints made by Louis G. Hesselden. The result of their hard work was a school that took about one year to build, time well spent.


One of the neatest things about Mr. Hesselden's drawings was all the attention he paid to detail. For example, he even included details of the banisters for the stairways. He put down the exact length, width, and height of every single little item in the school so that everything worked out during the building times. Just look up at the bell tower when you visit Jefferson Middle School. The bell tower is the highest part of the school, at 166 ft! Many kinds of building supplies were used in the making of Jefferson, such as white .pine wood, tin, polished plate glass, cast iron, slate, cement, oak, plaster, tile, and salt glazed brick.

The Roosevelt Connection

Among all the other schools, Jefferson Middle School is unique for the quality of its construction. What sets Jefferson apart from all other middle schools in New Mexico? The following chain of events, which accompanied the construction of Jefferson, is very interesting.

Just before Jefferson was built, the country was going through our biggest depression. Because of this, the president, Franklin Roosevelt, created the Public Works Administration (PWA), which would bring new industry and employ local people. The money to build this school came from the federal government. FDR was fond of New Mexico. Voters in the state overwhelmingly supported him in his 1936 campaign. He also knew the then-governor of New Mexico, Clyde Tingley, who was the husband of Carrie Tingley, founder of a hospital for crippled children. FDR, being handicapped and having a great interest in helping handicapped children, provided the plans for the original hospital, which was located in southern New Mexico. The plans were similar to the plans of another hospital he backed in Warm Springs, Georgia. Roosevelt's interest in New Mexico put the building of a new junior high school in Albuquerque high on the PWA's list of projects. The PWA's money, combined with the hard work of the people of Albuquerque, led to the creation of Jefferson Junior High The Building of Jefferson

The Jefferson Alma Mater

My Alma Mater

Words and music by Sam Balcomb

As the first rays of morning sunlight filter over the mountains blue, Mid the haze of the eastern mesa Alma Mater comes to view.
High on a hill near the Rio Grande close to the heart of New Mexico,
There stands a school that we go to daily, Jefferson we love you so!
Scenes of the school days we'll all remember, Happy days of youthful joys Through till June from a warm September,
happy girls and carefree boys, And though our stay here may soon be over and to a higher school we go
Our fondest memories will always linger, Jefferson we love you so!

Jefferson we hail you proudly
Sing your praises ever loudly
Bear your banners ever stoutly
Alma mater on the hill.

Jet Fight Song (cheer)

Composed by Mrs. Water's homeroom, 1956

We're the Jets, we're flying high
We strive to win, but if we miss our guess We'll never lose, without a try! (Rah! Rah! Rah!)
In every field, we are a top contender To do our best for Jefferson Junior High
Let's fight let's win, and never give in Keep Jets at the top for ever more.

Adapted Creed For Jefferson Junior High

Composed by Mrs. Water's homeroom, 1956

I believe in Jefferson Junior High School as an institution of education
where the faculty and the students work together for the mutual benefit and achievement of all.
As a student, I will strive to acquire the knowledge I need to prepare myself for my future.
I will practice self-discipline and good citizenship; and will recognize, understand, and respect the rights of others.
I will practice independent thinking as a step toward independent living; and try to strengthen the use of my own judgment.
I, therefore, believe it is my duty to my school and to myself to support it loyally,
to obey its rules, to take part in its activities, and to uphold its reputation to the best of my ability.