Gamboa ES History

Opened: 1937
Closed: 1988

Gamboa Elementary School was a part of the Canal Zone Division of Schools from 1937, when the Dredging Division was moved to Gamboa, until October 1979 when it became part of DoDDS. A typical, tropical, wooden building, Gamboa Elementary School had most of its classrooms on the second floor with a play area and kindergarten on the ground level. In 1979, as a part of DoD, a post office was built on the ground level; and in December 1980, a mini-shoppette was also added on the ground level. By 1989, only the mini-shoppette still operated. The post office closed in 1982; and then in June 1988, because of the declining population, the school was closed.

In 1979, the enrollment of Gamboa Elementary School was 115 with a faculty and staff of ten. There were approximately 100 students for the 1981-82 school year. The assistant principal was Clyde Coombs.

By 1987, the enrollment of the elementary school had dropped to 53 students with a staff of five. In June 1988, with a projected enrollment of less than forty students, the school was closed. A “Hail and Farewell” party was attended by many former students and faculty.


Source: Schooling in the Panama Canal Zone 1904-1976, DoDDS Panama 1979-1989 and DoDDS School Information Guides

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