James V. Enders Elementary Open Magnet opened in August 2012. Enders Elementary was built as the result of the 2008, $370 million bond issue approved by the Wichita voters. Enders was built to ease overcrowding in the South feeder pattern and as a replacement for the current Lewis building which was built in 1957and Emerson which was closed in 2012.Schaefer Johnson Cox Frey Architecture was the architect on the project and Coonrod and Associates was the contractor. The total contract amount is $10,395,750, which is $458,050 or 4.4% under budget. A new name was recommended as Lewis and Emerson Open Magnets combine to create a new and unique learning environment for students. The new school features a library, group study areas, an art room with an outdoor patio, separate cafeteria and multipurpose room, which is also the school’s storm shelter. The new school remains an open magnet.
James V. Enders was a social studies and physical education teacher in the Wichita Public Schools, teaching at Truesdell Middle School for the majority of his career until his retirement in 1991. He was known as “Coach” to many students on the south side of Wichita and also devoted his time to coach tennis at South High School. He dedicated himself to being a mentor to all students. He kept in contact with many of his students after they graduated from high school and became adults. He would share stories with others about his students’ accomplishments with great pride, and was humbled when former students would tell him about the positive impact he had on their lives. He taught students to respect themselves as well as others and his legacy is being a positive influence on hundreds of young people and for leading by example in the classroom and in the community.