College Hill Elementary School

211 N Clifton Ave, Wichita, KS 67208

The first school for College Hill opened on November 30, 1890.  The two-story stone structure was created after a petition from College Hill residents asked that a school be built on the northwest corner of Clifton Avenue and Prospect (now First Street).

The school is named after its College Hill neighborhood.

Wichita in the 1880s, was a time of wild real estate speculation in the area. Amid all this hubbub, a proposed Methodist college was slated to be built in what would eventually become College Hill. But, as fate would have it, the Methodists decided to build their college elsewhere – Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas, to be exact.

But don’t worry, the neighborhood didn’t stay down for long. Fast forward a few decades to the turn of the century, and houses started popping up. Between 1900 and 1934, College Hill was a bustling hub of residential construction.

Then, in 1926, the Lincoln Heights Addition was added bringing the Lincoln Heights Shopping Center in 1949. As part of our visits to all of Wichita’s park, we also hit up College Hill Park.

The new building which faced First Street and sat on the west side of the school grounds served the area until 1912. A new building accommodated eight grades, while the old building was remodeled for seventh and eighth-grade classes.

The original building was abandoned in 1921 and was demolished in 1927.

The third reconstruction of College Hill School took place in 1976, resulting in the demolition of the 64-year-old structure and the construction of a new building with a capacity of 600 students.

The students were allowed to paint and color on the walls since the school was to be torn down.

College Hill being torn down June 10, 1976
Courtesy: The Wichita Eagle

The Wichita Eagle said that many College Hill alum were asking for bricks from the old building.  The same article said the school was preparing to hold classes in a few homes nearby.  Once the new school is finished, the homes will be demolished to make room for a new playground.

A new addition was added in 2006.

Check out Wichita’s other public schools: Be True To Your School

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