Chisholm Trail Elementary School - About Us
The story of Chisholm Trail School dates back to April 1873, when the first school board of District 51 was elected with three members. A one-room frame structure, 18' x 28', served for a schoolhouse. Since there was no money for desks, the first students sat on benches and used their knees to write on. The school was called Kechi Center and was located at 61st and North Lawrence (now Broadway).
In 1919, the frame house was replaced by a brick building, and in 1929 the increased enrollment made an addition necessary. By 1955, enrollment had again increased and Chisholm Trail School was constructed at 6001 Forester, about a mile from Kechi Center. Classes were held at both buildings. With the completion in 1958 of the Chisholm Trail Junior High building which housed grades seven and eight, the primary building was used for Kindergarten through second grade, and fourth through sixth grade. Third grade classes were housed at the Kechi Center building.
In 1963, District 51 became a part of Unified School District 259, and at that time use of the Kechi Center building was discontinued.
The enrollment has reflected the growth pattern of the city and county. In 1893, there were 26 children attending Kechi Center. Forty-three were enrolled in 1903. In 1967-68, the peak enrollment of 900 students was reached at Chisholm Trail.
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 500 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.
The architectural firm of Wilson & Company helped with the Chisholm Trail renovations. They included a new addition with four classrooms and a library, as well as renovations for classrooms and student support. In June 2004, this remodeling placed the front entrance on Independence Street, which changed Chisholm Trail's address from 6001 Forester to the current address. Caro Construction Co., Inc. received a contract for the amount of $2,633,100 to complete the remodel and addition project.
The Bond project dedication ceremony was held October 20, 2005.History was made again in November 2008, when Wichita voters gave their support to a $370 million bond program that supports smaller classes, safer children and economic vitality and stronger futures.
In addition to the direct benefits to children and classrooms, bond issue construction supports local jobs and supports the Wichita-area economy. When completed, this bond issue will alleviate overcrowding, keep up with growth, add FEMA storm shelters, upgrade technical education facilities, improve fine arts and athletic facilities, and support the end of busing for desegregation.
When citizens in the Wichita Public School district were asked to evaluate the investments made in the community’s public schools through the 2000 bond issue, they overwhelmingly affirmed support for those improvements.
At the same time, citizens acknowledged support for future investments which represented many of the areas not addressed through the 2000 bond issue. At the request of the Wichita Board of Education, more than 1,500 citizens assembled in fall 2007 to evaluate remaining critical needs, share their vision for Wichita’s public schools, and develop a strategic Facilities Master Plan which will support the continued growth and vitality of Wichita’s schools. The results of this work revealed $536.5 million of critical needs throughout the district.
The 2008 Facilities Master Plan focused on equity, excellence and safety for Wichita’s students. It also supports the continued economic vitality and the future of the Wichita community—supporting workforce recruitment and community development, and strong property values in the Wichita Public School district.
The bond plan recommended by Wichita citizens can be classified into the following critical need areas:Address overcrowding and growth in key areas of our community – Addressing overcrowding and community growth were the citizen committee’s top priorities. This plan added 6 brand-new schools; provides classrooms to address growth, overcrowding and special programs; re-built two inadequate buildings; and renovated or expanded critical program space.
Build 60 safe room storm shelters in instructional space additions – The 2000 bond issue introduced the concept of FEMA safe rooms to the Wichita community. Thirty safe rooms were constructed in Wichita elementary schools. This bond issue plans for the construction of 60 additional safe rooms at elementary, middle and high schools across Wichita.
Support the end to forced busing by providing equitable facilities in the AAA area – New schools being constructed in northeast Wichita, rebuilding Mueller and Spaght Elementary schools help support the end to forced busing in Wichita and provide state-of-the-art educational facilities for neighborhood students.
Chisholm Trail received a new addition of approximately 7,000 square feet. The addition provides a new multipurpose room, serving kitchen, and connecting corridor. The multipurpose room will serve as a storm shelter. Renovations of the existing kitchen to be restrooms help serve the school’s special education population.
Sheldon Architecture is the architect on the project and Descon, Inc. was approved as the general contractor. The total contract amount was $1,422,412. The Bond project dedication was held September 20, 2013.