Lister Elementary School at 2106 East 44th Street, Tacoma, WA 98404 is really a nice looking school that was built in 1996 (maybe 1997). The history of the school, which was gleaned from For The Record a History of Tacoma Public Schools, 1869-1984, is interesting. The school is located in the Salishan neighborhood, which had its origins as worker housing during World War II. The federal government paid for the original 1943, eight room school in the area, which was known as Salishan School. By 1948 the school had double the number of intended students and split shifts for the students were occurring. A new 24 room school was within two weeks of completion in 1950, when it burnt to the ground. The school was again built and opened in the fall of 1950. At that time, it was the largest elementary school in the Tacoma School District. In the For the Record book, the Citizen’s Committee for School Facilities Planning recommended demolition of the 1950 structure. That building was indeed demolished in the mid 1990s and the present day school pictured above was constructed. Lister’s mascot is a lion.
DeLong Elementary School is a neighborhood school located at 4901 South 14th Street, Tacoma. There mascot is a Dragon and their motto is “Preparing all students for a bright and productive future” .There are about 400 students enrolled.
The mascot of Lowell Elementary at 810 North 13th Street is the leopard. Per Lowel’s website, it is the oldest school in the district and began as a log cabin in 1869 at N. 28th and Starr Street. It burnt down in 1875 and was rebuilt in 1885, and named Lowell in 1890. In 1892 a new building was constructed and the 1885 building became the annex. In 1949 an earthquake hit the region, killing one Lowell student and making the building unusable. In 950 the most recent Lowell and the one current being used was constructed and in 1961 the primary unit was built. I was especially impressed with the mural on the side of an outbuilding on the site.
Tacoma Public School has announced that it may close schools in order to save money. Foss is the high school they are considering and elementary schools with less than 300 students are also possibilities. These elementary schools are Franklin, Lyon, Roosevelt, Stanley, McKinley, Wainwright and Geiger. Geiger has had a program change and has been taken off the table. Wainwright, in Fircrest, is the last of the elementary schools that I am writing about.
Today’s school is Wainwright Elementary at 130 Alameda Avenue. Their mascot is the wildcat. The original school opened in 1911 and was called Regents Park. There was one teacher, Mrs. C.D. Bangs and she taught 1st through 3rd grades there. The one room school closed in 1914 because of lack of students. But it reopened in 1915. It almost closed in 1917, when there were 13 students. A new school opened there in 1924 and was named FIrcrest. In 1948 the school wa added on to and renamed Wainwright after a famous general in World War II. General Wainwright traveled from Texas to Fircrest to be at the school’s dedication. The school was again added on to in 1957 adn remodeling was done in 1971. In 1984 the school had a student population of 292 students and the Citizen’s Committee for School Facilities Planning recommends that Wainwright be closed.