Stanley Elementary was first called Orient School, and the records of its origins are sketchy and incomplete. Board minutes show that on July 24, 1911, the Board of Education voted to lease a site south of the Orient Shops and to erect a one-room building on the site. On August 28 of that same year, a committee reported the purchase of eight lots in the Orient district. School directories show that for three years, from 1911 to 1914, a one-teacher school was conducted. In 1911-12, Ida M. Snyder taught grades one through seven; however, from 1912-14 classes were held for only grades one through four. For two years the address of the Orient was designated simply as Euclid Avenue. In 1913-14, the address shown was 2000 South Glenn.
The school was discontinued in 1914 and apparently the building on the site was moved because the Annual Report of 1914-15 shows Board ownership of a site listed as Orient and valued at $200 but with no building or equipment located on the site.
During the summer of 1927, Lots 73-95 on Martinson and Lots 74-96 on Elizabeth were acquired through condemnation proceedings. Two frame buildings were moved from Franklin to the new site, and Orient School again opened at Martinson and Esthner. This school had grades one through five and three teachers. In 1929-30, the name was changed to Edmund E. Stanley Elementary School, and a fourth teacher was added. Edmund E. Stanley became the first president of Friends University. He was a member of the Board of Education from 1905 to 1910.
A new building was constructed in 1930 at a cost of $62,000. Schmidt, Boucher and Overend were architects for the building, and the contractor was the Blaser, Vollmer Construction Company. The new school was of concrete and brick construction and had six classrooms, a library and an office.
In 1950, to house the growing enrollment, an addition was constructed which increased the building to 12 classrooms. This construction cost $56,000 and was done by the Soderberg Construction Company with W.I. Fisher as the architect. The area continued to grow, and portables were added to accommodate the enrollment. By 1972, twelve portable classrooms were located on the site.
Major renovation and remodeling of Stanley was completed in 1981 as the final project of a bond election. The Aley-Stanley Community Center was the result of that project which added facilities for the Wichita Sedgwick County Health Department, Human Services Department, Department of Parks and Recreation, and a Wichita Public Library site. The school facility underwent extensive remodeling which nearly tripled the classroom space, expanded the library facilities, added a planetarium, and added amenities such as carpeting and air conditioning for the entire facility.
In addition to the City-County agencies, this 53,000 plus square foot facility maintains an enrollment of 450 PK - 5 students and is one of only two schools in the district to be a school/community center.
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 district hired Caro Construction Co., Inc. to complete the addition and renovation project. Stanley received a new addition including two classrooms and upgrades to the 2nd-floor restrooms. The project completion celebration was held on March 9, 2006.
In November 2008, the voters of the Wichita School District approved a bond issue. The district hired Caro Construction Co. to complete an addition of 4 classrooms at Stanley. This addition will also be a FEMA safe shelter. The health room will also be remodeled to better serve the needs of all Stanley students. Construction is set to begin July 2010 and completed June 2011.