It was never intended to be permanent. Yet after all these years Planeview still stands. It’s still a vibrant community for some of Wichita’s most diverse and economically challenged neighborhoods.
The southeast neighborhood was built in the 1940s, one of three Federal Housing Administration projects in Wichita. The others included Beechwood and Hilltop Manor. Beechwood, near Douglas and Webb was cleared in 1955.
The three projects were meant to house nearly 20,000 aircraft workers and their families. They were only meant to last through World War II.
The so-called “Miracle City,” was the state’s seventh largest city. It had its own post office, movie theater, grocery stores, and schools.
Including Planeview High School (1945-1957). The school’s colors were black and white, the newspaper was called the Aeronaut, the yearbook was named Talespin. The first senior class had 97 students.
So what happened to the Home of the Gremlins?
In June 1955, the federal government sold off the land and Wichita annexed Planeview and its schools. For two years Planeview High School continued to operate until 1957 when Southeast opened.
The last issue of the Talespin (PHS’ Yearbook) stated, “Planeview High School: You served a great need in a trying war and post war era. Many students have benefitted from your influence, but even you, Planeview High School, cannot endure under the impact of social progress. Many fond memories of your experience will endure in the students’ minds forever. Farewell.”
The building became a junior high and was renamed in honor of William Jardine. That original building is gone now. Dr. Jardine served as president of both K-State and WSU. And was one of the first Kansans to gain a secretary position at the national level.
A new Jardine was built and opened for the 1958-59 school year.
There is a plaque on a brick wall that commemorates the site of Planeview High School (1943-1957). It was dedicated On August 6, 1994. There is also an engraved cement plaque honoring an undefeated football team in 1947-1948.
At the end of the 1995-96 school year, Jardine was closed, students were sent to Mead, Truesdell and Curtis. The school board turned it into Edison Junior Academy. The Edison contract ended in 2003 and the school went through several name changes.
Shout out to Susan Arensman at USD 259 for the extra help on those name changes:
2003 – 2007: Jardine Diversified Leadership and Technology Magnet
2007 – 2013: Jardine Technology Middle Magnet School
2013 – present: Jardine STEM and Career Explorations Magnet Middle Academy
While taking pictures for this story, I spotted this mural on the side of the building. I got out to take a few pics and as I got closer I noticed the faces in the tiles. I’m guessing these are students from the year the mosaic was done. What a great idea. Schools often leave a huge imprint on students’ lives, its not often the student gets to leave a reminder they were there.