Bryant Montessori, located at 717 S. Grant Ave., Tacoma, WA 98405 is one of the Tacoma Schools that might be flux. In 1998, this school received a grant to become a public school using the Montessori method. It now provides preschool to 8th grade education.
The original Bryant building was constructed in 1891 and was named after William Cullen Bryant who is remembered for writing Thanatopsis (alright I don’t actually know that poem, but here it is)
The original building was lovely and held elementary through high school classes and also housed the school board offices and administration. High school students in the late 1800s paid tuition fees and in 1897 it was reduced from $2.50 to $1.50 per month. In any case after 70 years, the building was demolished and the “new” Bryant opened in 1962. A photograph of the original building can be found here. http://search.tacomapubliclibrary.org/buildings/bldg1image.asp?j=2&o=2&n=15872&i=3774#text
The district proposal currently on the table is to close nearby Franklin Elementary School and use that building to house the Bryant program. Originally the intent had been to house the entire Bryant program at Franklin, but now it is looking more likely that the elementary portion of the Bryant program will move to Franklin and the middle school program would join Geiger Montessori which will move to the vacated Hunt Middle School. This would allow at least some of the Franklin students to at least have the option of staying in the Franklin Building if they wanted a Montessori style of education. Per the newspaper article below “A variety of programs, including Head Start and others, would move from the old Madison School site to the Bryant Elementary site”. Everybody clear?
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.
Tacoma Public School houses most of its administrative functions out of building at 601 S. 8th St. The original part of this building was constructed in1912 and in December 2010 it was placed on Tacoma’s historic register. For more information see http://www.tacomadailyindex.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=88&cat=23&id=1889351&more=0
The architect was Frederick Heath who also designed: