History of Colvin

  • Promotion of a new school building to replace the former Planeview schools seriously began during the Bond Campaign of 1966 with a "building needs" study. Built in 1943, Rogers, MacArthur, and Brookside elementary schools were wartime, temporary structures which became part of the Wichita Public Schools in 1955. Lack of funding delayed replacement of these buildings many years prior to 1966; and when the bond campaign of 1966 was declared invalid, a new structure was not assured until the 1974 successful bond election. (Due to the condition of the building and declining enrollments, Brookside School was closed in 1971 and pupils were transferred to Rogers and MacArthur for the 1971-72 school year.)

    During the planning for the new facility, area residents expressed interest in a City community center-elementary school complex. Cooperation between the Wichita Board of Park Commissioners and the Board of Education resulted in the current site selection and a total cost savings through the shared financing of construction and use of facilities. This also expanded the scope of services available to the community.

    The school building contains 78,917 square feet, the community center approximately 10,225; and the total complex is located on a site of 18 acres. Cost of the 89,142 square feet space was about $2,500,000. The school is designed to house 800 children. The enclosed courtyard contains a school garden which separates the school from the community center; however, the public library which is shared by the pupils and public is in the center of the school wing. Featured in the special education suite are a home-living area and media center including a special reading room and a circular mathematics laboratory. Moveable storage units allow for flexible room arrangement and the building is equipped with an intercom communications system and outlets for future television systems in every classroom.

    The principal and contractor had thought moving the MacArthur and Rogers pupils to the new Colvin School would be completed in the fall of 1977; however, unanticipated delays changed the moving date to January 1978 for MacArthur pupils and February for Rogers students.

    The Colvin Elementary School was named for the late C. Fred Colvin who was employed as high school principal of Planeview in 1943 and later became assistant superintendent and then superintendent of Planeview schools. In 1953, before the Planeview school district was annexed to the Wichita School System, Mr. Colvin became Assistant Superintendent in charge of Special Services for the Wichita School System. Four years later he was named Assistant Superintendent in charge of the Personnel Services Division, the position he maintained until his death in 1966.

    At the beginning of the 1988-89 year, sixth grade students were incorporated into the middle school program, leaving a PK-5 enrollment of approximately 775 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.

    Upgrades to Colvin include a new addition with 14 classrooms and support areas. The plans were prepared by the architectural firm of Gossen Livingston Associates. Caro Construction Co., Inc. completed the Anderson and Colvin remodels and additions for a total of $3,165,050.

    Colvin held its Bond project dedication ceremony on March 14, 2006.

    Colvin's most recent Bond project added a Multi-purpose room that functions as a storm shelter, gym, and assembly area. It also provided for a secured entrance, and it was completed in the 2011-12 school year.