• HISTORY OF VON STEUBEN SCHOOL

               

    Von Steuben School was built in 1936-37 with the help of P.W.A. fund at a total cost of $235,493.59.  The building consisted of 14 classrooms, a kindergarten room, auditorium-gymnasium, and utility rooms.  Opening for the first year, 1937-38 under the direction of it’s first principal, Mr. Walter F. Current, Von Steuben had an enrollment of 276 with 9 teachers.

    A four-room addition was built on the northwest wing of the building during the year 1948-49 to relieve crowded conditions.  This addition was opened for use in September 1949 with all the rooms being put to immediate use.  The peak enrollment for that year was 597, more than double the top enrollment for the first year.

    During the year 1953-54, a library and three more classrooms were added on the northeast wing of the building.  These rooms were put into service in September 1954 with a peak enrollment of 631.

    A third addition was built on the northwest wing in 1958-59 consisting of eight classrooms, and changes and improvements to some of the existing areas.  These improvements and additions provided for (1) dressing, shower, and locker rooms underneath the stage, (2) improvements for kindergarten room 115 by combining it with the joining clinic room, (3) an adequate science laboratory and science room by combing room 226 with an adjoining utility room, (4) an audio-visual room, (5) a music room, (6) a health or clinic room next to the office, (7) a reception room and clerk’s office from the original library space next to the office, (8) acoustical tile for the corridor ceilings, (9) acoustical tile for the kindergarten room, and (10) new paint for the entire building.  Seven of the new classrooms, the science room, and the music room were put into use in September 1959.  This year the peak enrollment was 725.

    In 1963, Mr. Current retired as the first Principal of Von Steuben School and was replaced by Mr. William F. Jordan.  Mr. Current had been Principal at Von Steuben for 25 years.  Mr. Jordan was Principal of Von Steuben for 14 years, until 1976, when he was transferred to Kellar West School, which later was changed to Charles A. Lindbergh Middle School.

    In the school year 1976-77, Mr. William W. Ricca was transferred from Roosevelt School to Von Steuben School as principal.  Dr. John F. Davidson was appointed to replace Mr. Ricca when he retired in 1990.  David W. Obergfel was appointed to replace Dr. Davidson in 1992.

    In 1979-80, neighboring Reservoir School was renamed Washington School to house the gifted program, thus the students in the attendance area south of War Memorial Drive were transferred to Von Steuben as permanent enrollees.

    During the 1976-77 school year, the rooms were all renumbered to be consistent on both floors 100 to 126 and 200 to 226 respectively.  Teachers’ names, room numbers and grades were installed at each room.  In the spring of 1978 the Builder’s Club constructed and donated eight banners to the school representing all schools, in the Woodruff Conference.  These enhanced the gymnasium wall.

    During the 1979-1980 year, the students, parents, and teachers, constructed the school sign in front of the building and the flower gardens on the west, and planted them with evergreens, quince, and rose bushes.  In the spring of 1980 the first hard back yearbook was published and appropriately name “Valhalla” by the 7th and 8th grade students.  Previous years a paper yearbook was published.

    In the fall of 1980 the portable-screw-down basketball standard was removed from the stage and replaced with an electric retractable overhead basketball standard.  This was sponsored and financed by the Mother’s Club.  A new roof and flashing were added during the summer of 1981.  During that school year, tilt and roll bleachers (6 sections) were added to the gym for better student participation at athletic events.

    In the summer of 1982 the school received a major face-lift with the removal of the old windows and installations of all aluminum and Plexiglas windows.  The dark brown trim and insulated panels set off the tan brick beautifully.  In the fall of 1984, a new electronic Basketball Scoreboard was installed in the gym.  This was a gift of the student body through candy sales.

    In the fall of 1986, District #150 reorganized; thus, Von Steuben became a middle school housing grades 5 through 8, plus 5-8 Special Education students.  The reorganized boundaries included the original Von Steuben area, the Hines School area, and the Reservoir School area. Enclosed stairs were added to the west wing in 1986, the locker room entrance enclosed in 1987.  Plans for a new gym and enlarged library were unveiled in the spring of 1990 and opened at the end of the first semester of 1991.

    A 60-year Open House was held in March of 1998 to celebrate 60 years of service.  A special Taste of Von Steuben was held by the PTO.