History of Seltzer
The story of Seltzer School really begins with the fresh surge of western migration which swept the United States after the close of the Civil War.
After the most pressing needs of the early settlements had been met, a school was erected on the E. O. Smith farm which occupied the half section on the north side of the road between 127th and 143rd Streets East. The school itself, called the Brown School, stood about one-half mile east of 127th Street on the north side of Kellogg, also known as East U.S. Highway 54. Nothing remains at this site today, and there is little information concerning the structure. It is known that the men in the community built the school which served about 50 pupils who resided in the district which was bounded by Greenwich Road on the west from one-half mile south of Pawnee to one-half mile north of Kellogg and on the east by the Butler County line. This was an area of nine square miles. In 1876 the three half sections lying south of Pawnee were excluded, leaving the district wholly within Minneha Township.
No one seems to know why the school was called the Brown School; no one can recall a family by that name in the neighborhood. It is certain that it was designated as Common School District 31 of Sedgwick County, Kansas, and established in 1874.
The school was also used by the community as a place for public worship on Sunday. Its location in the very northern part of the district made it quite a distance for some of the patrons who used the community center, and in 1880 the school was relocated on the Thomas Means farm one-half mile north of Harry Street on 143rd Street East. This school was also called the Brown School.
In 1889 a new school was built to accommodate the increased enrollment. At this time the school was named Seltzer after the springs for which the community became known. Thad Smith was the carpenter, and materials and labor are supposed to have cost $100. In 1923 Seltzer School was more centrally located in the district, the relocation being established at 903 South 127th Street East.
On February 30, 1951 a contract was executed between the C. E. Vollmer Construction Company and Sedgwick County School District 31 in the sum of $29,415 for the construction of a new brick school to be located at 903 South 127th Street East. Brown Electrical Company had the wiring contract for $1,125, and Kendall Plumbing and Heating was to install the pump and septic tank system for $6,335. In October a housewarming welcomed patrons to the new structure which consisted of two classrooms, restrooms, and a multipurpose room. This would be the northernmost area in the building. Enrollment was between 70 and 80 students.
In 1954 Seltzer School began another transition period. Many new housing developments had been created in the community, and there was a rapid gain of newcomers to the district. In 1956 three classrooms, a principal’s office, and teachers’ lounge were added to the structure. This was the central section of the building. Seltzer now had five teachers, a budget of $39,110, and a public transportation system. By 1959 Seltzer had become crowded to the point there was some discussion of possible consolidation with Andover. It was thought that Andover might take the seventh and eighth grades, making further construction of facilities unnecessary; however, no action was taken. In 1960 Seltzer gained the former students of Franklin District 72, making a total enrollment of 185. On May 26, 1960 a bond election was held at the school and carried, 57-5, to provide funds for adding the south classrooms, the kitchen, and the gymnasium plus additional rest rooms. A contract for $109,035 was executed with Hibbs and Pettit, architects, and Caro Construction Company to accomplish this work. With the completion of the addition, a full-time lunch program became a part of the school program.
For the next few years, Seltzer School District continued to gain steadily in enrollment, and the activities and services offered were expanded. A school secretary was employed to relieve the principal of routine clerical duties. A nurse and counselor began to visit Seltzer a few hours each week, and instructors for art and music were added to the faculty. In 1964 the library annex to the pre-building was constructed. Feldner and Frey were the architects, and the W. B. Carter Construction Company was awarded the contract for $24,889. The school now had a total of ten classrooms, a fine library space, and a nice gymnasium for its comprehensive educational program. Seltzer enrolled its first kindergarten students during the 1964-65 school term.
In 1964 the Kansas Legislature passed the School Unification Act which provided for consolidation of many small school districts in the state. As a result, Seltzer Common School District 31 became a part of Unified School District 259, Wichita Public Schools, which had a K-6-3-3 organizational pattern for school attendance centers. Though Seltzer lost its seventh and eighth-grade students through unification, it also gained additional students in the lower grades when its neighbor to the west, Mammoth Cave District 22, was closed. Seltzer became one of the largest in the area designated attendance centers in the city school system.
Enrollment neared 600 in 1983-84 and the ten portables which had been added in 1967 were in full use. The overcrowding was alleviated at the end of the 1984 school year as boundaries were redrawn with the opening of the new Beech Elementary School.
At the beginning of the 1988-89 year, sixth-grade students were incorporated into the middle school program. Enrollment in 1994-95 was 300 and increasing yearly. Three portables remain at the site. 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 300.
1958-60 Olin H. Wilson
1960-63 J. W. Preuett
1963-68 David Adams
1968-73 Lowell W. Swender
1973-84 Ezra G. Burt
1984-89 Diane Osborn
1989-96 Kimberly Pruitt
1996-00 Diane Miles
New Seltzer Facility
11660 E. Lincoln, Wichita, KS 67207
On February 9, 1998, the administration presented a property acquisition proposal involving the trade of a portion of district-owned property for a new site that met the requirement of the project. On February 23, 1998, the Board of Education authorized the administration to issue a Letter of Intent to Joe Lee, Leewood Homes, Inc., formalizing the conditions of the proposed transaction and the process for final evaluation of the properties involved.
On April 13, 1998, the Board of Education entered into an agreement with Schaefer Johnson Cox Frey & Associates to provide architectural and engineering services for the proposed new Seltzer Elementary facility. The expenditure for these services included a fixed fee amount of $294,000, plus an estimated direct reimbursable expense of $24,000. On November 9, 1998, the Board of Education adopted a resolution pertaining to the acquisition of certain property and the disposal of certain property no longer needed by the district by exchange.
On November 10, 1998, the Board of Education entered into a Real Estate Purchase Agreement with Leewood Homes Inc., for the land exchange.
On March 8, 1999, the Board of Education approved a construction contract in the amount of $5,131,500, with Coast to Coast Builders, Inc., to construct the new Seltzer Elementary School. The contract amount was comprised of the base bid price of $4,559,000, plus add alternates totaling $472,500, plus a contingency amount of $100,000, (*add alternates consist of four additional classrooms, including Interrelated Classrooms, Casework, Local Area Network Infrastructure, Intercom/Clock System, Fire Alarm System and Carpeting). On May 24, 1999, the Board of Education approved a change order addition to the construction contract for the new Seltzer Elementary School with Coast to Coast Builders, Inc., for $112,000, to include Barber Coleman building controls for the building automation system. With this change order, the total contract for construction of the new Seltzer Elementary School will be $5,243,500.
The new Seltzer Elementary School is located at Lincoln and Greenwich Road and is approximately 60,883 square feet.
Thursday, September 28, 2000 at 10:30 a.m. an open house and dedication was held for the grand opening of the new building. Seltzer Principal, Diane Miles, Superintendent Winston Brooks, Board of Education President Marty Marshall and city officials attending the ribbon cutting ceremony.
In November 2008, the voters of the Wichita School District approved a $370 million bond issue. The projects will be completed over the next five to six years.
On October 12, 2009 the board approved the plans and specification that were prepared by Law Kingdon Architects. Caro Construction, Inc. was the low bidder with a total bid amount of $1,931,700 to complete the addition.
2000-2003 Diane Miles
2003-2004 David Lamp
2004-2010 Modena Spurlock
2010-2014 Anne Clemens
2014-2015 Laura Thompson
2015-2018 Angela Brown
2018-Present Carol Dunne
2005-2007 Linda Rowden
2007-2008 Kimberly Grayson
2008-2009 Hannelore Burdette
2010-2012 Tiffany Allen
2015-2017 Erica Morris
2017-2018 Randall Harding
2018-2020 Rachel Eastman
2020-2021 Jessica Martinez
2021-2023 Glen Williams
2023-Present Kathleen Patterson