Linwood Elementary School
The land that Linwood Elementary stands on was donated by Civil War Veteran, James Lynn, who owned several acres in the area. The surrounding community was in need of a place to educate the children of the growing neighborhood. There had been the one room Ozome School House, located on what is now known now as NW 23rd and Portland. But a growing community and state called for more room and a new school was needed.
In 1911, the firm Layton, Smith and Forsythe was commissioned to create and build a new school, Linwood Place School, for Oklahoma City. The original school was to be two stories, have seven classrooms, a principal’s office and a reception area. Seven new teachers, a principal and a secretary/clerk were hired. The school would contain Kindergarten through 5th grade and one upper grade class. In 1911, many students didn’t continue their education past the 6th or 8th grade. They often married or were needed at the farm.
Linwood Place School would be innovative. It had indoor plumbing with separate bathrooms for boys and girls. It had a steam heated, grated floor at the south entrance. Most children walked to school in those days, and the heat would warm them as they entered the building.
1923 and 1926
The community continued to grow, and Layton and Smith was called on again to design some additions. In 1923, four more rooms were added to the south side of the building. In the 1911 designs there were no street names. It was simply a field. In the 1923 design of the new additions the streets were named. The school was located on West 17th, not Northwest 17th as it is today.
In 1926, two more classrooms were built on the north end. A kitchen and eating area were constructed in order to serve a hot school lunch. Two new restrooms were added upstairs, and an auditorium, infirmary, principal’s office and reception area were added downstairs. Linwood was truly growing to meet the needs of the neighborhood.
In 1940, architects Winkler and Reid were called in to create, update, and build on to the south end of the existing building. Downstairs, a brand new auditorium with a performance stage was added. The old auditorium would be turned into a Kindergarten room, complete with a separate bathroom specifically designed for 5 year old students. A workroom was added on east side. A new library and an art room were added to the upstairs. There would be beautiful iron grated gates placed on the entrances to protect the school building and every classroom would receive an updated look.
It was decided to expand the principal’s main office, and it was moved from its location by the kitchen into one of the classrooms by the east entrance of the building. The kitchen was enlarged, and a teacher’s dining room and clinic were made by converting the other classroom by the east entrance of the school. Three adult sized bathrooms were added. One would be in the clinic to take care of the needs of sick children. A lot of detail was given to the building; wooden floors were repaired or replaced, doors cleaned and polished, and new cabinetry and fresh paint everywhere. Linwood was updated and prepared for the future.
Linwood would undergo another change. Thanks to a bond issue passed by the citizens of Oklahoma City in November 1994, Linwood was moving up in technology and comfort. The bond issue created funds so that Linwood would receive updated power and electrical sources to be able to have central heat and air. The current ceilings were lowered 3 feet to allow space for electric wiring and air ducts. The school was now heated and cooled, without the use of the dangerous boiler system that produced steam heat.
The school would also have the power needed to run a new innovation catching the home market at the time, the personal computer. The building began to offer complete computer operations, with internet access to students in the fall of 1995. The old art room, built in 1940, was converted into a working computer lab in 1996, offering 40 minutes of computer lab as part of their regular curriculum. Included in this update was wiring into every classroom for student computer stations.
Thanks to the Maps for Kids Program, Linwood would not only receive its most recent facelift, but would also have a brand new addition. The architects of Hornbeek Blatt came to Linwood and its community with a construction plan to preserve and protect the history of Linwood Elementary. Mr. Hornbeek had lived in the neighborhood as a child and knew the importance of the school’s history. He would oversee a new building and preserve the history for all generations to enjoy.
Linwood has added eight new classrooms, a library, a clinic, a teacher workroom, conference room, storage and principal’s office area. This was needed at Linwood as it serves over 420 students from the community. Linwood currently educates Pre-Kindergarten through 5th grade, with plans of adding the 6th grade to our community school.
Linwood is a major part of the community and it grows because of the continued support received from parents, staff, students and alumni. Without families and friends in the Linwood Neighborhood, Linwood School would not be the outstanding place of learning it is today.
Linwood is celebrating its 100 years of “Excellence in Education” in the fall of 2012.
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We are Proud Linwood Lions!