Jessie Hunter Black Elementary School was built in 1954 to meet the needs of the rapidly expanding West Side and to serve an area that had formerly been a part of the OK district but had been annexed by the city. The school was completed in October of 1954 and was occupied immediately by the pupils and staff who had been holding classes on an afternoon shift at Field Elementary School. Leaper and Gilbert were architects for the building. Dedication services were held on the afternoon of Sunday, November 14, 1954, and were attended by members of the Board of Education, school administrators, staff and other important citizens of the community. At this time, a portrait of Mrs. Jessie Hunter Black, after whom the school was named, was presented to the school by a niece, Mrs. Knorr. Mrs. Black was credited with being the first public school teacher in Wichita, having taught several years as Miss Jessie Hunter. The initial enrollment was 300. This rapidly increased, and a peak enrollment of 580 was reached in 1965. Through the years, 12 portable classroom units were placed on the school site to provide for expanded enrollment and special services. In 1968, two classrooms were combined to develop an adequate library facility. The 1974 bond election included improvements for Black Elementary. After a year of planning, renovation and construction were begun. The kindergarten area was enlarged, and the office area was extended. The old library, teacher lounge and music room were converted into four classrooms. The new addition included five classrooms, a library media resource center with conference and instructional areas, instrumental music room, multipurpose room, restroom and inner courtyard.
Renovation and construction were completed in November 1976 at a cost of $642,718. The building was occupied in December and the need for portables on the school site eliminated. 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 300 students. In 1989, 16 ceiling fans were placed in eight classrooms and the remaining four classrooms without air conditioning received fans by December 1990. The project was financed by the Black Elementary PTA. In 1993, the school board responded to community interest in a traditional magnet school and Black Traditional Elementary Magnet School was created. 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 new libraries as well as the expansion of nine others. Building infrastructure in 82 buildings was also upgraded, included 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 architects Hanney & Associates and with Bauer and Son Construction to complete the Black and McLean remodel and addition projects. The Black bond project was completed for the Fall of 2003, and the school held their bond celebration and dedication on September 2, 2003.