Iowa Heritage Digital Collections
State Library of Iowa

059_Stowe and Studebaker Schools


059_Stowe and Studebaker Schools


This is a page from the collection "Bicentennial Reflections: History of Des Moines Public Schools, 1876-1976" by Dr. Robert R. Denny, published by the Des Moines Public Schools in Des Moines, Iowa in 1976.

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Smouse (Photograph) Stowe (Photograph) Prior to 1909 there was a two room frame building located at E. 29th and Guthrie known as Sandhill School. In 1910 the name of this school was changed to Harriet Reecher Stowe, and in 1912-13 one room was added to the building. During the school year 1914-15 there was no Stowe School listed as being a part of the Des Moines Schools and it is believed that a fire destroyed it. In 1915-16 a new Stowe School was built at E. 33rd and Cleveland. These two rooms are still a part of the building. In 1917 the front two rooms on the second and third floors were built; in 1924-25 the back two rooms were added to the first and second floors. Sometime between 1925 and 1930 a gymnasium was built. This also serves as a cafeteria and auditorium. In 1943-44 the back two rooms were added to the third floor. A six- room addition was built in the fall of 1952. At that time the kitchen of the cafeteria was enlarged and remodeled providing more work room and storage space. A new office was also provided. During the fall of 1960 another addition was completed. Four new classrooms were opened and a central library was started. The Stowe elementary building in the 1970s has an Individually Guided Education multi-unit program. They are one of the few older structures to have this program which is commonly found in the newer open-space buildings. Stowe also has Title III Wisconsin Reading Design in grades K-3. They are participating in the Title III learning disabilities programs for grades K-3. They also have the Wisconsin Title III study skills for grades 4-6. They are in the SPURT Program. Westinghouse Score Science Program. Kindergarten Waupon Program Career Education Program We will be having Mental Disabilities Resource Room beginning in the Fall of 1975. Principals who have served at Stowe are: 1915 - 1940 Grace Troutner 1940 - 1952 C. I. Pease 1952 - 1966 Lorraine McFadden 1966 - 1968 Pherrin Dowell 1968 - Keith Van Horn Studebaker (Photograph) Van Meter (Photograph) STUDEBAKER SCHOOL S.E. 1st and County Line Road Site 10 acres Studebaker School honors John W. Studebaker who served in the various educational posts as follows: 1914 - 1920 Assistant Superintendent, Des Moines Schools 1920 - 1934 Superintendent of Schools, Des Moines 1934 - 1949 U. S. Commissioner of Education The Greenfield Plaza area in Warren County which forms the major attendance area for Studebaker continued to grow throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. The addition of portable classrooms did not solve the problem and in February, 1971, the contracts were let for a large open-space, 12- teacher station addition. This included a library learning center and a cafetorium. This addition cost $562,426. The opening of this new addition in September, 1972, enabled the staff to plan and inaugurate the IGE—Individually Guided Education multi-unit program. This was one of the first schools in Des Moines to have open spaces and the IGE program. Other programs carried out at Studebaker include the Berkeley Smoking and Health project. This is serving as a model for other Des Moines schools. There is also an active career education program at this building. Studebaker Multiunit School In the fall of 1969 a District-wide bond issue election was held which included plans for building an addition to Studebaker. The issue was passed with a 61.2% majority...the Studebaker district gave a 90% favorable vote. At the time, Studebaker had its original ten classrooms full, plus using eight portable classrooms, and bussing fifty pupils to Maple Grove School. Construction of the new addition began in the spring of 1970 and was completed so that we could begin using it for the 1972-73 school year. This addition included a 12,000 square foot open-space learning area, a centrally located media center, gym, and cafeteria. The architect firm was Charles Herbert & Associates and the general contractor was Vawter & Walter; same as for the original building. This addition cost $562,426.