Anderson Elementary History
Due to Declining Population of School Age Children in the Neighborhoods of Greiffenstein, Wilson and Wells Elementary Schools in Southeast Wichita - an Area Known As South City - the Board of Education Decided to Construct a New Building That Would Include the Old Wilson Structure, and Move the Three School Populations Together to Create a New Neighborhood School for the South City Area.
Grace Wilson Elementary School Was Completed in August, 1954, and Was Ready for Use at the Opening of School on September 1 of That Year. the Architects Were Ramey and Himes, and the General Contractor Was C.a. Doolittle, Jr. the School Was Named for Grace V. Wilson, Who Served the Wichita Schools As Supervisor of Music from 1928 Until Her Death in 1952. She Was Nationally Recognized As an Educator and She Co-authored a Series of Music Books for Public Schools Called the American Singer, Published by the American Book Company.
Construction Began in 1984 on a Large, Modern Looking Building on the Site of Wilson School, Incorporating the Old Building into the New Structure. During the Construction, Students from All Three Schools Were Housed at Greiffenstein. the New Building Was Named After James E. Anderson, a Prominent Wichita Black Educator Who Had Served Several Years As an Administrator for the District. Shortly After His Retirement, He Was Killed in an Automobile Accident in 1978.
Carolyn Bridges Was Given the Administrative Responsibilities for the Three Schools and Being the District Contact for Supervising the Progress of the New Building Construction. the New Modern Building, Designed by Gossen Livingston Associates, Was Completed in 1985.
In 1989, the Building Underwent some Radical Changes, Both in Remodeling Activities and Changes in Paradigms That Affected the Restructuring of the Educational Programs. the Building Was Rewired with State-of-the-art Wiring to Accommodate a New Pilot Program Supported by Jostens Learning Corporation. That Implemented Advanced Technology in the Form of 250 Computers - One for Every Two Students - to Allow Changes in the Delivery of Services to Children Which Included Using the Computers As Tools for Learning and Writing.
At the Beginning of the 1988-89 Year, Sixth Grade Students Were Incorporated into the Middle School Program, Leaving a K-5 Enrollment of Approximately 450 Students.
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.
Anderson Received a New Addition Including Four Classrooms, Upgrades to the Infrastructure and Renovation to the Student Support Area for an Estimated Total Cost of $732,000. the Plans Were Prepared by the Firm of Gossen Livingston Associates. on March 14, 2005, Caro Construction Co. Was Contracted to Complete Anderson's Remodels, As Well As Those of Colvin Elementary. the Total Cost for This Contract Was $3,165,050.
The Bond Project Was Completed and the Dedication Ceremony Was Held May 21, 2006 in Conjunction with the Retirement Party of Penny Longhofer, Who Had Been Principal at Anderson Since 2000.