Joshua Barney Elementary School was located on the French Rivera between Nice and Monte Carlo in the small resort village of Beaulieu Sur Mer. It was a K through eighth grade school and served dependents from the Naval ship, USS Springfield, which had its European home port there. The school had six teachers and volunteer parents ran the library since there wasn’t a librarian. Some years high school age students took correspondence courses to complete their high school requirements instead of boarding at another school.
The school had been a hotel and was renovated by the Navy into a school. Walls were removed so the rooms were wide enough for classrooms. Many of the classes were combination classes including fifth-sixth and a seventh-eighth combos. There were pocket doors between some classrooms so the classes could be combined for some activities such as French lessons. All the classrooms had beautiful marble fireplaces and French doors opening on to a balcony with views of the Mediterranean. There was a marble staircase that accessed the upstairs where the upper grades were located. The rooms in the basement were used for storage and meetings, such as Boy Scouts and church classes. There was a large play area out in front of the school which appeared to be the remains of a garden.
After the school closed, the property was refurbished into a hotel, The Carlton.
Info from The Italian Lesson and Other Hard Luck Stories by Kim Medders with Barbara and Jim Medders