Balboa Middle School

by Mindy
(Ventura)

For years, there have been rumors at Balboa that the school used to be a women's prison. Is this true? If not, when was the school built, and did the property serve any other purpose before it was a school?

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Aug 02, 2011
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Prison
by: Vance

went there back in 1977 & 78, don't Know if thats true but it sure looked like one.

Aug 07, 2011
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Kewpie
by: Anonymous

Balboa Middle School was Ventura Jr High School when I went there 1941-1945. It was a wonderful school with a good sized auditorium where I took band and orchestra classes. It was during World War II and each class had their various places to hurriedly climb to on the hillside when we heard the air raid siren warnings. Thank God we never had a real one, but we were prepared. Years later the building burned down when the caretaker left an electric coffee pot plugged in when he left for Christmas Vacation. My cousin salvaged brick from the building (they paid for them) to build their home in Oak View. Two of my grandchildren attended Balboa Middle School.

Sep 02, 2011
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Balboa Middle School
by: Stan

The only Balboa Jr High (middle school) i know of is the one on Hill RD. I was part of the First graduating class of the school 1963. It opened in the 62-63 school year. If there was another Balboa in Ventura i would like to know wher it was

Oct 26, 2011
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Balboa vs. Cabrillo
by: Anonymous

Balboa was built in the late 50's early 60's. Nothing but orchards before the school. The one commenter must be thinking of Cabrillo which is the oldest junior high campus in VTA and at one time was the HS campus.

Dec 15, 2011
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Balboa Jr. High, origins
by: Jana

I also went to Balboa Jr. High in the early 80's (when it was 7th, 8th, & 9th grades)and agree with the last commentor about it's originating date: 50's/60's - it was designed by a Mr. Chan (a father of one of my classmates all through grammar/jr./high school) and it was built in a different engineering fashion or something, I can't recall the exact nature, but maybe fire/earthquake? proof, something like that - which is why it is realtively ugly/industrial looking.

Feb 16, 2012
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Metal Factory
by: Carol W

There was never anything other than an orchard there prior to the 1960s - I moved to Ventura in 1957 and to my knowledge Balboa was built in the early 60s - I graduated from there in the 60s - it was 7th, 8th and 9th grade at that time and Buena was 10th, 11th. and 12th. Prior to that I went to Poinsettia Elementary School. We used to call it the metal factory - but I believe it was built like that because of safety during an earthquake. It was a great school and we moved into the area knowing that Balboa and Buena were going to be built so we could walk to school when the time came. There was nothing else there besides the orchard. The person who said they went there in the 40-50 era is mistaken at least not this school anyway.

Jul 10, 2012
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Bomb Shelter?
by: Anonymous

Didn't Ventura High School have their own Bomb Shelter? Just up the street from Larabee Statium?

Jan 15, 2013
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yes it was
by: arellanes

yes balboa was a womans jail the exact date im not sure of but my father remembers it we are the arellanes family we came to ventura/santa barbara in the early 1790s.there is so much unwritten history of ventura people would be amazed if they knew it.

Aug 06, 2013
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Where is Balboa Junior High School?
by: Russell

Is it located on the east end or west end of Ventura? The brand new DeAnza Junior High School just off of Ventura Avenue on the west end of Ventura opened for the school year of 1959-1960. I lived in Casitas Springs and all of us kids from the west end of ventura, Casitas, Oak View and inbetween were transfered to DeAnza from Cabrillo Junior High.

I attended 9th grade at DeAnza and then went to Ventura High and graduated in 1963.

I can not remember a Balboa Junior High School in Ventura.

Aug 30, 2013
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See for yourself....
by: Tom

My friend has a website with aerial photos of Ventura and other cities during the 50's, 60's and 70's. You can take a look at the area from the air to see if your hunch is correct about construction of Balboa Middle School by looking at the date of the photo. www.venturaviews.com

Mar 17, 2014
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Balboa Jr. HS - Opened Fall 1962
by: Celia

Stan's comments (9/2/11) are absolutely correct!

I moved to Ventura in the Summer of 1961 and was part of the first 7th grade class at Balboa Jr. H.S. in September 1962. At that time, it had 7th thru 9th grades, and Buena H.S. had 10th thru 12th grades.

It was NEVER A PRISON!!! - just looked like one and, at the time, sometimes felt like one. Rumor had it that they built it the way they did so that it could be taken apart and reconfigured if need be.

Feb 20, 2016
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balboa middle school
by: Anonymous

I'm a 6th grader at balboa middle school 2016 and people say its a prison because in the lockers the showers remain there and still are there and people say the prisoners used them to shower and they built it that way because of the womens prison is this true everyone wants to know I told the teacher of it was true my friends said it was true they asked about the showers and why we don't use them she said because people mess around and prank each other then she said it just looks like a prison because of the poles and 8th graders told us 6th graders the pole were from the prison and that people saw ghost but I didn't think it was true but there is this boy restroom next to the lunch were you wait in line theres locker and the boys restroom is haunted I didn't believe until I went myself nobody ever entered until I heard this faint screan I was so freaked I never been there then I told the 8th graders and they said I to;d you so but I just said in my head its just someone someone said bloody mary in the mirror and supposably the door locked by itself if anyone when to balboa in the 50s 60s 70s 80s 90s.

Feb 21, 2016
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Response to "Anonymous"
by: Celia

It appears as though you believe what 8th graders are telling you. Don't -- you've been duped!!!

As I posted previously, I was in the first 7th grade class to go to Balboa Jr. H.S. in September of 1962. At that time, Balboa had 7th thru 9th grades, and Buena H.S. had 10th thru 12th grades.

It was NEVER A PRISON!!! - just looked like one and, at the time, sometimes felt like one.😉 Rumor was that they built it the way they did so that it could be taken apart and reconfigured if need be.

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