Have you ever wondered about the early days of Fernwood Elementary School? How long has it been here? When did it open? Well, some of those questions can be answered in the following history.
Many, many years ago. April 18, 1885 to be exact. The Board of Education purchased the lot at the Northeast corner of 104th and Wallace Street for $800.00. Five years later, in 1890, a frame building was erected and designated as the Fernwood School (named for the community in which it was located). In 1891 the Fernwood School was re-located to Gillette Hall, a leased facility at 101st and Union, and officially became a grammar school. With the population steadily increasing, an additional facility was leased at 108th and Parnell and it became a branch of the Kohn School, as did the 101st and Union facility.
In order to better accommodate this dramatic increase in population, the Board of Education purchased property in between 100th and 101st and Union. On this property they planned to build the new Fernwood school. Construction on the new building began in1898. The building was completed during the summer of 1901 and students were moved from the Gillette Hall site to the new site in the Fall of 1901.
Although students and staff were having classes in the new facility, they officially remained a branch of the Kohn School. As the years past, the population of the community continued to grow. Therefore on August 25, 1926, the Board of Education acquired the remainder of the block immediately north of the school, which consisted of sixteen lots, for $20,050. In December of 1926, they began construction of an addition to the school on these lots. Eight classrooms, gym room, household arts, assembly hall, teacher lunchroom, teacher restroom, Principal’s office, library and Engineer’s office were the initial rooms in the facility.
The following year, Kohn Branch #1 (as the site was called) became an independent school and was officially renamed Fernwood Elementary School on January 26, 1927. On January 7, 1929, the new addition was officially opened and the rest was history.
As you can see there was a lot of work involved in Fernwood Elementary School becoming the facility we have all come to know today. One thing that remains clear is that Fernwood has been serving the families of this community for over 100 years.
What a great legacy!