Allen Elementary School History
Allen Elementary School was built during the school year of 1951-52. The school opened in September 1952 with an enrollment of 579. By the close of school in May there were 664 students, and nine classrooms were on double shifts.
Allen was named after Henry J. Allen, a former governor and United States Senator. He served during his outstanding career as a newspaper editor, member of state and federal boards, in international relief work, and the affairs of the Republican Party. He was always a stalwart fighter for good government in the nation, state and city.
During the spring of 1953, ten portable units were constructed to provide needed classrooms; however, in September 1953, the enrollment increased to 952. The ten-unit classrooms were inadequate, and seven classes were placed on double shifts. Before Christmas the entire school, except the kindergarten, was on double shift. School closed that year with an enrollment of 1,038. Allen at that time was the largest school in the city.
Booth School, 5920 East Mt. Vernon, was completed, and 177 children were transferred to the new location in January of 1954. In the meantime, four more portable units were constructed. This made sufficient classroom space for the second semester. Two more portable classrooms were moved in during the years 1956, 1957 and 1958. Griffith School, 1802 South Bluff, was completed, and 197 children were transferred to the new school on October 15, 1958.
As the enrollment decreased, portables were moved from the area until seven remained in 1960. Three more portables were subsequently added to take care of the increased classrooms for the hearing impaired. As of 1995, there were 14 portables on the Allen campus.
Hearing impaired special education students were housed at Allen from 1959 through 1990. In 1990, the hearing impaired program was moved to Caldwell Elementary School.
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 300.
On April 12, 1999, the Board of Education approved a construction contract with American Mechanical, Inc. in the amount of $77,861 to complete the boiler replacement including replacing water pipes in the boiler room.
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 Architectural firm of PBA Architects, P.A. developed a three-section elementary prototype to be used for Linwood, Enterprise and Allen Elementaries. Eby Construction Co. was awarded the contract to build the new Allen and Enterprise Elementary Schools. The old Allen building was replaced with a new school on the same site for an estimated amount of $4,700,000.
The new building was completed in the Fall of 2003. Family and friends of Allen Elementary were invited to a bond celebration and dedication of the new building held on August 28, 2003. Through our last Bond Issue, we were able to tear down the small building and send away the many portable classrooms. We now enjoy our new (2003) school building! It is bright and cheerful, has spacious classrooms, a large gym that is also designed to serve as a tornado shelter, a specially designed art room and a beautiful media center. Our last addition of classroom space was completed in the January 2013 with the latest addition we gained two classrooms and a stand alone cafeteria. In the fall of 2007, we added the ESOL (English Speakers of Other Languages) program. We have also added a new parking lot that was desperately needed and our PreKindergarten playground has been enlarged to accommodate our enrollment in PreK. Thank you Wichita for supporting Allen Elementary and Wichita Public Schools!