Eugene Ware Elementary School
Location: 4820 Oakland
Named for: Eugene Ware – Lawyer and poet
Kansan Newspaper Article
Friday – 31 July 1925
Vol. 30, No. 27
QUEENS GARDEN CAN TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT
But When Board Officers to Build School There, Land Prices Go Up
Whether the people of Queens Garden [45th to 47th & Parallel] and the Reidy Road [State Avenue] get a school building is entirely up to them. The board of education has enough money to buy a two room portable, and a tract of land to put it on at the price quoted before the owners discovered it was needed for school purposes. Since then the land has jumped to almost double its former value, according to school authorities.
At a conference, M. E. Pearson, superintendent of schools, F. L. Schlagle, assistant superintendent, W. H. Honnel, member of the board of education, and Lewis Brotherson, superintendent of buildings and grounds, it was pointed out enough money has been saved on the playground fund during the summer to provide for the school.
Cheapest is $4,000 – Since it was not in the budget, any money to be applied on the purchase of the land and the building would have to be at least two rooms, and a portable would be the cheapest the board could get. A two-room portable would cost $4,000.
Committee after committee from the district has attended the board meetings, urging that a school be provided. Until last winter the school board always had transported the children free of charge to the two schools they attended, Roosevelt and Parker. But in December a ruling of the attorney general that it was illegal stopped the practice.
About sixty-five children were affected by the ruling. It became necessary that they walk, about a mile and a half along the Victory highway [38th, State to Wood, Victory Drive, Wood to 45th and Parallel, and Parallel on west] to get to these schools.
Dangerous for the Little People – “It really is dangerous to have the little tots walking along the Victory highway, and we are eager to get together with the people of that district, so as to get their school ready for them by the middle of September, when the fall term begins,” Pearson said.
“However, we must have their cooperation, and the price they are asking now for all suitable land is entirely beyond reason. We simply haven’t that much money.”
If an understanding is reached, the two-room portable will be erected on a spot midway between the Reidy and the Parallel Roads. It will accommodate the first six grades, the other children continuing to attend Roosevelt and Parker Schools. (Newspaper article provided by Don Jones, local historian on Streets and Street Name Changes in KCKs.)
1925 – Previously part of Kerr, District 2. Two one-room, temporary buildings were erected on Bradish Road. Transportation to Kerr was withdrawn by the Board of Education and a school district organized. Two teachers taught four grades. The school on Bradish Road became known in September as Eugene Ware. The first school named for the poet had been a one-room building on North 12th Street near the Waterworks. Booklets about Kansas City and Wyandotte County history were ordered printed so that teachers and children could use information compiled by Kate Cowick in their class work. The Kansan furnished the plates, as the story had first appeared in a series of articles in the newspaper.
September: First PTA. Mrs. R. M. Dixon, first President.
1950 – April 6: New, one-story, buff-colored, brick building completed and children moved in with four classrooms, kindergarten one incomplete. Most modern in system. First to be completed after World War II and replace wooden portable buildings.
Eugene Ware, scheduled for occupancy in January, was delayed by construction troubles until April 6. The first to be erected since the work, the one-story four-room brick was also the first permanent building for the district founded 25 years before for children of Bradish Road, Combs Park, and Queens Garden areas. Two portables at 4768 Oakland had housed classes on a two-acre site, enlarged to 3 1/2 after the new building was erected on Bradish Road, 1/4 mile north of Highway 40. It adjoined Kansas City limits on the west. L. G. Barcus had the contract for improving the grounds.
1950s – The attendance area around Eugene Ware (i.e., 38th & Wood) was a border area between KCKs Public Schools and Washington District. The students could choose to go to Wyandotte or Washington High School. (Richard M. Reid, former Eugene Ware student.)
1952 – On September 8, the board purchased three acres of land on which to build an addition to Eugene Ware at 4768 Oakland.
1953 – Work begun on addition with ten classrooms, activity room, and library. Fred T. Wyatt, contractor.
2001 – Voters approved a proposed $120 million bond issue at the Municipal Election Tuesday (April 3, 2001) to air-condition schools, improve technology, and make other upgrades to schools and public libraries. Eugene Ware was part of Phase I, which was completed in the summer of 2001.
2004 – April 26 – National, state and local officials met at Eugene Ware to “kick off” the “No Child Left Behind” Summer Reading Achievers Program. KCKs school district is one of only 11 school districts nationwide selected for the reading program, sponsored by the US Dept of Education to encourage school children to read during summer vacation. Research shows that students lose reading skills during the summer months.
2004 – Received a “Great IDEAS” grant (funded/sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Fund) for the 2004-05 school year, which encourages teachers in SLC’s (Small Learning Communities) to work together to develop innovative programs and projects to improve student learning. Received $2,463.