small bond issue for School District No. 1, Sedgwick
County, passed in 1877, and
two schools were built, one of which was Will
Carleton Elementary School
at Lewis and Lawrence (now Broadway) streets. It was completed in 1879
and known as the First Ward
School until 1885 when the
teachers petitioned to have the schools name changed to Will Carleton
in honor of a contemporary poet. Teachers wanted the name changed to
avoid confusion, as there were several Ward schools now in
Mr. Carleton, being pleased the school had been named for him, chose
to visit the school in April 1892. After a well-planned program involving
the superintendent, school board members, teachers, and pupils, Mr. Carleton
visited every class and in some recited his poetry. He then left them
a 60-pound box of candy. The students cheered loud and long.
Records indicate that in 1902-03 to 1919, grades one through eight were
taught at Carleton, with the principal teaching the eighth grade pupils.
On January 27, 1913 the Board of Education awarded a contract
for $38,900 to Ellis Construction Co. for a new brick building to replace
the original structure. School opened in the new building in the fall
of 1913 after the building and grounds committee had authorized a 12-foot
brick walk to be placed around the school. Hamilton and Horace Mann Intermediate
schools were opened in 1919-20, so elementary schools in close proximity
to these schools enrolled their seventh and eighth grade pupils, thereby
making more room for the constant influx of elementary pupils in the area.
In September 1920 the first special education class with 15
was organized at Carleton with Miss Helen Pelzel
as teacher. In the early 1940s the area was becoming commercialized and
enrollment had dropped from 643 in 1930 to 276 in 1942. The Board of
voted on November
2, 1942 to proceed with remodeling the west side of the third
floor of the Carleton School
for a large Board meeting room with adjacent kitchen facilities. In 1943
the Wichita City Teachers Association was provided office space in the
and by the end of the 1945-46 school year enrollment
had dropped to 172, so the building was closed as a pupil attendance center.
administrative office suite was moved
to the building
on September 3, 1946,
and Carleton officially became the Administration
Administrative office space was crowded and did not meet handicapped
accessible standards, so in the fall of 1988 [administrative offices were
moved to 217 North Water and other school related programs occupied the
428 Building, as the former school became known].
In November 1993 [the building was vacated and included in a trade that
relocated all administrative offices to 201 North Water].