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The History of our Public Schools
Wyandotte County, Kansas




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KCKS Public School System, 1819-1961
by Nellie McGuinn
Copyright USD 500, Feb 1966

Return to Previous Section 1937


With the completion of Wyandotte High School, the greatest school building program since 1922 began.  Five years had been set for the completion of the project.  Bonds for $751,000 were issued in January for additional ground and a new building for Sumner at Eighth and Oakland.  Plans were drawn by Joseph Radotinsky, architect for the board.  The contractors were S. Patti Construction Company.  Improvements on Rosedale High School and stadium were planned and the contract awarded to the University (Universal?) Construction Company.

At Argentine the first athletic field owned by the district for use of the school was begun in 1938 and completed the following year.  A new addition for the shop and several classrooms was started when land was acquired and houses removed for an extension to the building on the southeast.  Superintendent Schlagle said that space for vocational teaching was necessary as more children were in school because of the scarcity of work.

Weeks Construction Company began work on a new Parker School building on December 12, 1938.  Later in December an addition of a separate building for Northwest Junior was started by the Winn-Senter Construction Company.  Fred T. Wyatt commenced excavations and foundations for a new Attucks School (Argentine, colored) and also for an addition to John Fiske.

Workmen began remodeling the gymnasium at Ninth and State and the Horace Mann building. An erection of an addition to Horace Mann to house Junior College students was planned.  Playgrounds at Eugene Ware, Garrison, and Northeast Junior were planned.  Frances Willard received some modern improvements.  For all of these projects the board received substantial help from the Public Works Administration.

Montgomery Ward opened a new store on the northwest corner of Seventh and Minnesota on the old Court House site.  Rainbow Boulevard, extension of the Seventh Street Trafficway, was paved with brick from 39th Street south to 47th, the city limits.  Brick pavement also was laid from Tenth to Eighteenth Streets on Central Avenue.

Park, Quindaro, and Longfellow schools celebrated anniversaries.  Old residents met at Park on May 13 to recall events of 25 years before the school was built.  Quindaro people knew that eighty years had passed since the founding of their school, but were uncertain as to its exact location.  The Quindaro Town Company gave the lots, but most agreed that two churches and an old mill housed the earlier school.

When the Fourth District was organized on October 9, 1867, the school board obtained a warranty deed for six lots and is supposed to have erected a one-room limestone building on the site.  In 1909 a four-room brick stood on the grounds.  Some said the building in 1938 incorporated the original four-room brick, but others disagreed.  One great-great-grandchild of an early pupil was present at the reunion.

In December, M. E. Pearson and C. H. Nowlin, early principals, met with former students of Long (Longfellow) school.  Everyone agreed that the two men formed one of the great teaching teams of early Kansas City days.  F. P. Gebhart, former student, compiled school histories, which were rolled and tied like diplomas and given to the visitors.

Salaries, reduced almost 23% in the depression years, were almost equal to what they had been.  No reductions were made in 1938-39 and those below maximum received increments.  The board, faced with bond interest and bond debt, was forced to raise its levy.  Forty-three new persons were hired and many already in the system were earning degrees.  Mr. Schlagle was pleased because more content courses were taken by teachers.  Knowledge, he said, was a characteristic of the ideal teacher.

Nurses for the junior and senior high schools were employed.  Class lessons in instrumental and vocal music in elementary schools would be taught in 1938-39 by instructors in the high school.  The Council had brought Teachers Accident and Health Group Insurance to 76% of the faculty.  An annuity bill would soon be presented to the legislature for the benefit of local teachers. 

Next Section   1939

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History Site created on December 02, 2002
Page last updated: 02-Jan-2012

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