• The History of Brooks Middle School

    Brooks Junior High School began its first year of operation in 1958. The official enrollment for the first year was 489 students. Formal dedication of the building was held on Sunday, November 2, 1958. The building was named for L.W. Brooks, who was a principal of three high schools in Wichita. He was the first director of secondary education and also was an acting superintendent of schools. In 1944, he was elected the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

    Preliminary studies were made to determine educational requirements of the area to be served. Planning was carried out with particular attention given to site development. Glenn E. Benedick was the architect and Martin K. Eby Company was general contractor. The design of Brooks School was unique in that the natural topography was retained and used as an asset rather than a liability in the development.

    Definite separation was maintained for pedestrian traffic, automobile traffic, service areas and playground areas. Outside student gathering areas were developed with the most desirable orientation from the standpoint of access, weather protection and flow into the building facilities. Parking for 160 cars was provided adjacent to the facilities used by the public, and adjacent to the center of the building. Color was used to the fullest advantage inside the building to provide a cheerful and inspiring atmosphere for the students and teachers. The architect gave a great deal of attention to creating a feeling and atmosphere in the building conducive to alertness and learning.

    Building capacity was originally established at 725 students. Enrollment increased steadily each year, and two portables were added in 1964. An additional four portables were required to meet enrollment needs for 1965. Enrollment in 1966 reached more than 1,000, and four more portables were needed. In subsequent years, the enrollment leveled off at approximately 950.

    In the fall of 1988, all ninth graders were moved to high schools leaving seventh and eighth graders. In the fall of 1989, all junior high schools became middle schools (6-8).

    Sixth graders were admitted into the newly established magnet program for the 1991-92 school year. The themes were global education, science and technology, and foreign language. Each year thereafter, the students in the magnet program moved to the next grade and a new sixth grade class was established until the entire student body was made up of students whose parents had made application for them to attend Brooks. Students were randomly selected for admission. Originally, there were to be 750 students in the magnet program. Enrollment was increased and in 1994-95, 842 students were attending Brooks.