McCollom Front of Building Picture
  • The C.H. McCollom School opened its doors to students on February 1, 1960, the fourth elementary school of School District 69. The rapid growth in the school population within the district, which included Peterson, Mary Benton and Pearl Kensler schools, created the need for an additional elementary school. The architectural firm of Hibbs and Pettit was engaged to design the building. The eight-acre site in the north Westlink area was located on the fringe of the existing housing development, and during the early years McCollom enjoyed a pastoral setting of open wheat fields and native grassland with abundant small animal and bird life.  The school name was chosen by the PTA units of the three existing schools of the district to honor C.H. "Hub" McCollom who had been active in the west Wichita community as a school board member, director of the school board from 1955-1958, a township trustee and as an originator of youth recreational facilities for the area.


    The eleven-classroom school opened in February 1960, with an enrollment of 272, a staff of ten classroom teachers and two special services teachers, principal, part-time secretary, and one custodian. In July 1960, School District 69 was attached to the Wichita School District for school purposes, and most of the improvement districts were annexed by the City of Wichita during the following year. With the increasing enrollment, portable classroom units were moved to the school site beginning in 1962 and continuing until 1966 when six units were in use. To accommodate the continuing and projected growth of the McCollom residential area, the school board voted to construct a permanent major addition to the existing school. Ramey and Jones, architects, designed the new addition with ten classrooms, two kindergarten rooms, library, commons room, special services facilities and renovation of the existing building. A delay in the completion date of the new addition necessitated scheduling classes in shifts for several weeks at the beginning of the 1966 school term. Regular school hours were observed by the younger students while upper grade students were divided into early and late shifts to share the available space until the new addition was ready for occupancy in October 1966. During the school terms of 1967 and 1968 several classrooms of children from Kensler School were bused to McCollom to utilize the extra classrooms space. In the summers of 1967 and 1968 McCollom was used as a Headstart Center and has also been used as a summer school center, in the summer library program and for Park Board summer recreation. An addition consisting of a new multipurpose room and a new classroom was completed in 1976. One classroom was remodeled, and a surveillance system was installed. The architects for this addition were Calvin, Jones, Jelinek and Gegen. At the beginning of the 1988-89 year, sixth grade students were incorporated into the middle school program, leaving a K-5 enrollment of around 450.


    In April 2000, the voters of the Wichita School District approved a $284.5 million bond issue. The projects began in the fall of 2000 and were completed over the next five years. The plan built 19 multipurpose rooms, upgraded science labs, replaced portable classrooms with permanent construction, improved handicap accessibility to all buildings, rebuilt five existing elementary schools, added a new elementary and middle school, expanded seven other elementary schools and provided nine new libraries as well as the expansion of nine others. Building infrastructure in 82 buildings was also upgraded, including the replacement of antiquated plumbing, updates and expansion of electrical systems, replacement of inefficient or broken windows and doors, upgrades of heating and cooling systems, and asbestos abatement when required. The district entered contracts with PBA Architects, P.A. and Brecko Construction Co. to complete the McCollom upgrades. The school received a new addition including four special education classrooms, as well as renovations for student support. The Bond project dedication ceremony was held October 10, 2002.