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Central School
503 N. Walnut
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Central School
503 N. Walnut
- photo 1903
Central School
503 N. Walnut
- postmarked 1909
Central School
503 N. Walnut
- photo 1912
Central School
503 N. Walnut
- photo 1915
Central School
503 N. Walnut
- PDH photo 1921

As Pittsburg grew so did the need for more school buildings. In 1893 bonds were sold to build a new school bulding on the site of the first school at 5th and Walnut. Named Central School it was dedicated on Jan 30, 1884. The school was designed by George Munn with the contractor being Mr. Goodlander from Ft. Scott. The 70'x82' school was impressive at three stories with a 6' Cottonwood Falls limestone foundation and 18" thick brick walls. The entrances on the east and south side of the building had marble arches built with marble from Phoenix, MO. At a cost of $23,503.50, about $650,000 in today's money, to build it was harkened as the most beautiful and up to date school in Kansas. The inside was as impressive as the outside with modern emenities including white oak treads on the stairs with red oak handrails. The school was the first in Pittsburg to have odorless water closets with automatic flush tanks and included water fountains and automatic faucets. The first floor housed the superintendent's office and rooms for first, second and third grades with enough room for 132, 52, and 48 students respectively. The second floor was used for the High school and would accomodate 150 students. The floor also had a apparatus room and 2 recitation rooms with a seating capacity of 85. The gymnasium was located on the third floor with a stage at one end for concerts. Central School was used by the city until 1903 when a new high school was built on the northwest corner of Eighth and Broadway. The Central School building was then offered to the new State Manual Training Normal School (PSU) in 1904 to used until a more permanent building (Russ Hall) was completed in 1912. After the SMTNS moved out, Central School once again became a city school and was remodeled in 1925, almost doubling its size. The building was used until about 1953 when Central School and Forest Park School were closed and the students were consolidated into the new Westside School on West Fifth between Miles and Olive. The city used the vacant Central School building to house its offices while the City Hall at 4th and Pine was torn down and a new one was built in the late 1950's. Not long after the city moved out, the school building was torn down. Today the site is occupied by the Bottenfield Building.


 
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