Wurtsmith Elementary (Main) School History

Opened: 1957
Closed: 1991

Wurtsmith Memorial School was located on Clark Air Base. With the transfer of grades seven to twelve to a new location, it became Wurtsmith Elementary School in 1957 and later became Wurtsmith Main School.

In 1959, an elementary curriculum coordinator, two counselors, a music directory, and teachers for remedial reading, Philippine culture, art, and PE were added to the faculty. Of the eighty-two teachers, sixty-one were at Clark for the first time. The student enrollment had grown to 2,000 students. Students in grades 4 and then 4–6 were moved from the school in 1964. For the 1967-68 school year, kindergarten and grades 1–2 attended the school. Kindergarten students attended double sessions due to the lack of space. Students in grades three and four were transferred to the new Hill Elementary School. In the fall of 1969, Wurtsmith Elementary had the largest enrollment of the Clark schools with a population of 2,400 students. Classes for 1,200 kindergarteners and special education were transferred to Wurtsmith Annex. The facilities at Wurtsmith Main school were considered poor and a replacement for the entire school was planned. This school was closed in 1969 and reopened in a new building for the 1972-73 school year.

In 1980, the Clark schools were reorganized. Wurtsmith Elementary school now served students in kindergarten through grade four.

In 1981-82 Wurtsmith still housed kindergarten through fourth grade. The complex consisted of ten relocatable, air-conditioned buildings containing fifty-six classrooms, a large media center, and an administrative building. The school was situated in the “Hill Area” housing complex and served families living adjacent to the school and most off-base children. The school had two counselors, a reading improvement specialist, English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher, special education teachers, two host nation teachers, and media center personnel.

In 1984, a two-phased construction of a new school was planned. Phase I, completed in the 1985-86 school year and adjacent to the old school, consisted of a multipurpose building with five classrooms, a gymnasium/auditorium, an arts and crafts center, a music center, two ESL learning stations, a remedial math center, two counselors’ offices, and a Talented and Gifted classroom. Phase II, completed in 1988, provided a totally new school.

By the 1989-90 school year, the elementary school complex consisted of three major air-conditioned facilities. A multipurpose building housed a large gymnasium, counseling offices, numerous specialists’ classrooms and five general classrooms. In January of 1988, kindergarten classes moved into an open classroom facility which included six classrooms, a large activity room, and an office area. In May 1988, the main building was completed and occupied by grades one through four. This two-story building housed the main office, cafeteria, media center, regular classrooms, and resource rooms.

By the end of the nineties, the enrollment at the school reached 1,100 students.

The school was closed in 1991.


Information from DoDDS School Information Guides and DoDDS-Pacific Region 1946-1986

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