• History of Pleasant Valley Elementary


    The Pleasant Valley School District 128 operated as a separate district from the year 1881 to June 30, 1964 when it became a part of the Wichita Public School System. Records indicate the first term of school was for three months in the spring of 1881. Ida Jones was the teacher at a salary of $12 per month. The 1881-82 school year was for a three-month term and was taught by Mattie Keefer. For her services, she was paid $29 per month. The 1882-83 term was also taught by Mattie Keefer, but it was an eight-month school year for which she was paid $33.33 per month. During the years 1883-90, the terms varied in length from six to nine months. Beginning with the 1901-02 term, the standard eight-month school year was held until 1926 when the nine-month term was adopted.


    It appears that school building was located on the site of the present Michener site (formerly North Pleasant Valley and currently a police academy) on 37th Street. A part of the original site was given to the school by the Pierpont estate to remain property of the school district as long as it was used for school purposes. Prior to 1922, the records referred to the building as a white frame structure. In 1922, the district voted $12,000 in bonds to construct the red brick building that formerly occupied the present site of the building on 37th Street.


    From 1904 to 1927, the school remained a one-teacher school with the enrollment averaging 26-40 pupils. In 1927, the enrollment exceeded 40 pupils, and a second teacher was added. In 1942, when the enrollment was more than 70 pupils, a third teacher was added. From 1942-47, the enrollment increased from 70 to 95 pupils, and in 1947 a fourth teacher was added.


    In June of 1948, a foresighted school board and an alert group of patrons voted $120,000 in bonds for the first phase of the present Pleasant Valley Elementary School building (then called South Pleasant Valley) on 29th Street. The structure consisted of four classrooms, the office, space for the lunch program, and an auditorium. Construction was no more than completed when the need demanded another bond issue in 1950 of $115,000 to construct the first addition of classrooms. A $90,000 bond issue followed in 1951 to provide two rooms per grade level and to complete the present size of the building.


    With the development of the school on 29th Street, the old red brick schoolhouse on 37th Street was closed in 1950. The patrons in March 1958 again went to the polls and voted $365,000 in bonds to build North Pleasant Valley Elementary on 37th Street. In 1973, when North Pleasant Valley was renamed to honor John and Anna Michener, the "South" was dropped from the name and the south building became Pleasant Valley Elementary School.


    Kindergarten was added to the school program during the 1951 school term with an enrollment of 52 pupils. The lunch program started out as a "Soup Program" during the 1941 school term and was initiated as a "Type A" lunch program during the 1942 term. In the late 1970s, the kitchen at Pleasant Valley ceased to provide lunch for the students. Students eating hot lunch walked to Pleasant Valley Junior High. In the fall of 1990, hot lunches were reinstated and the lunch program provided by the Food Service Center.


    In 1976-77, a new media center and a mechanical room were added. The boiler room was enlarged, and eleven classrooms and four restrooms were remodeled. Extensive renovation was a part of the 1974 bond issue. This included remodeling all restrooms and new lighting and ceiling in the halls and classrooms. Some of the remodeling was necessary to bring the building up to the present fire and safety code standards.


    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 250. In 1995, Pleasant Valley shared a principal with Riverview. On March 10, 1997, a construction contract with Claassen Construction Co., Inc. was approved for the addition of four classrooms, additional restrooms, parking, additional air conditioning for the existing building, and ADA Improvements as required by code. On September 8, 1997, the Board approved the dedication of the recently completed wing to the memory of teacher, Diane Vaughn Meier. Board members, as well as the community, were invited to attend the dedication ceremony on September 16, 1997.


    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 recent bond construction, Pleasant Valley received two new classrooms and a new student support space. Walz Harman Huffman Construction, Inc., completed the Pleasant Valley Elementary and Middle School projects.