Recorded historical facts about Wichita are often incomplete as well as sometimes slightly inaccurate. So it was found in compiling material concerning HarryStreetSchool.
Around 1889 there became a need for a school in South Wichita. It was decided to locate the school “one and one-half miles south of the Post Office,” then located at Market and William. Twelve lots costing $1,350 were purchased on Market Street. Another 12 lots were purchased on Harry Street at Main at a cost of $2,400. Because of the location of the building, it was named HarryStreetElementary School.
The first school housed only the fifth and sixth grades. The other grades remained at LincolnSchool. About 1906, the first building was replaced by a brick structure which remained in use until 1922 when a new building was built. This building contained 12 classrooms and an auditorium. In 1941, an addition of four classrooms, an office and a health room was completed. This building remains in use today.
The old building remained in use for overflow students who were bused in from other schools that were overcrowded. It was later used for surplus storage until its demolition in 1954.
Harry StreetSchool, once in the extreme south edge of Wichita, is now near the center of the fast growing city. The school is surrounded on two sides with commercial buildings. For several years, the enrollment has remained around 350 pupils.
At the beginning of the 1988-89 year, sixth grade students were incorporated into the middle school program.
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.
With the Bond issue construction, Harry Street received a new addition including a multipurpose room, kitchen, library and four classrooms, as well as renovations including the student support area and 2nd floor restrooms. The district approved Architectural Innovations, LLC and Hutton Construction, Corp. to complete this project.
In January 2001, FEMA announced a grant providing $444,762 to help construct safe rooms at Harry Street and various other schools throughout the district.
The USD 259 School District purchased property at 1629 and 1631 S. Market, and also 1636 S. Main to expand the property and construct the new building. This expansion created a new main entrance for the school; the address was changed accordingly.
The Bond project dedication ceremony was held on May 1, 2003.