Levy Special Education Center was named in honor of Morris W. Levy who was born in France in 1844. He came to Wichita in 1872. Mr. Levy lived in Wichita for 33 years and was active in civic affairs. He served on the Wichita School Board for 12 years and was president 11 terms. Mr. Levy founded the Wichita Library Association, was president of the Kansas Bankers Association, secretary of the Wichita Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Board of Directors of the Board of Trade, and treasurer of the Stock Association.
The original Morris W. Levy Elementary School was located at 2001 East Stafford. It was constructed in 1952 and opened in September of that year with an enrollment of 320 students. Through the years, the student population varied from a maximum of 500 pupils to a low of 200 in 1970-71.
At the close of the 1970-71 school year, the use of Levy as an elementary attendance center was discontinued. However, the facility continued to be utilized for instruction of students with special needs in grades kindergarten through 12. In accordance with its new usage, the school was renamed the Levy Special Education Center.
The Levy Special Education Center facility located at 400 N. Woodchuck was built in 1980 at a cost of $3.8 million to provide an educational setting for students who have multiple disabilities, students with autism, and students with an intellectual disability. A full day program is provided for five- through 21-year-olds.
The building was constructed with unique architectural features to meet the needs of students with special needs. Some of these features include wider door openings, handrails in all hallways, and ADA compliant restrooms and drinking fountains.
In 2001, an addition was added to the existing building to accommodate a growing population of students. The building now includes 22 classrooms with observation/office areas between each classroom. Each classroom also has a restroom. We have a gym for Adapted Physical Education and a hydro-therapy pool which has adjustable depths from deck level to a maximum depth of 4 1/2 feet. The pool water is 91 degrees and the air temperature is 93, which creates a therapeutic effect for students. Levy also has a Life Skills area with adaptive cooking and laundry facilities, a music room, library, vocational training center, two health rooms and a cafeteria with a kitchen.
Information taken from A History of Wichita Public School Buildings, c 1997and updated September 2019