Iowa Heritage Digital Collections
State Library of Iowa

050_Moore and Moulton Schools


050_Moore and Moulton 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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48 MOORE SCHOOL 52nd and Douglas Grades K-6 Dates of construction 1950 1959 Site 7.1 acres The first wing of the school was called Fair Meadows, but the name was changed later to honor Dr. Fred B. Moore, the first Head of the Des Moines Schools Health Department. The first official mention of an elementary school to be built at 52nd and Douglas appears in the Board minutes of July 15, 1924, at which time the real estate agent was authorized to secure prices on elementary school sites for northwest Des Moines. In 1944 the Board of Education developed a building program consisting of 21 projects including a proposal to build at this site, "the first four rooms of an elementary school." The building program was presented to the voters in March, 1945, and bonds for the project were approved. Because of the difficulty of securing building materials in the immediate post-war era and because of the pressure of crowded conditions at other locations, preparations of plans for this building were not started until April, 1949. The contract was let in September, 1949, and the building occupied in September, 1950. Additions in 1954 and 1959 have made this one of the most modern elementary schools in the midwest. The front wing on the north was built in 1954 and the east wing was added in 1959. In the mid-1970s this continues to be one of the large schools with undepartmentalized classes for grades K-4 and a six-unit program for grades 5-6. It also has classes for children with impaired hearing and is a receiving school in the EEO voluntary transfer program. Moore has activities in adult education and classes going on in the after-school hours. Beginning in 1973, the sixth grade classes became actively involved in photography through a grant from the Iowa Council of Fine Arts. The students have become proficient in still and motion pictures, development, animation, and script writing. Parent involvement is emphasized with parents involved in classroom activities and after school enrichment clubs. An outside classroom has been constructed with various trees and shrubs. The classroom is utilized by all grades for different learning experiences. Pre-school classes have been offered during the regular school year and the summer months. Principals who have served the patrons at Moore School are: 1963 - 1974 John A. Waldo 1972 - 1974 Gary Sheldon 1950 - 1952 Frances Meneough 1952 - 1954 James Daugherty 1954 - 1963 Almeda Nelson 1974 Tom Stokes MOULTON SCHOOL 7th and College Grades K-6 Dates of construction- Site—3.0 acres -1914 1915 1930 1962 (remodeled) In the early 1960's Crocker School building was sold to the highway commission as it was in the direct path of the new Des Moines freeway. It was located between Sixth Avenue and Seventh Street, just north of School Street. The Des Moines school board proposed remodeling of the old North High school, then vacant, to be used as a replacement for Crocker School that would be demolished. After approval in a successful school bond issue, renovation began on the building located between Seventh and Eighth Streets on College Avenue. The replacement building was then named Moulton Elementary school by the board. Crocker enrollment dropped to a low of approximately three hundred pupils at the time of closing in June, 1962. In previous years it was not unusual for six hundred or more pupils to be enrolled there. The decline was gradual over a period of four years after the beginning of the River Hills Urban Renewal project and Freeway work began. The Urban Renewal project cleared all homes in the area east of Sixth Avenue and south of University Avenue which was a large portion of the Crocker School district. The freeway work cleared many homes and apartment, buildings west of Sixth Avenue. In the last weeks that Crocker was in operation many prominent Des Moines citizens visited the building to view what they felt was one of the historical monuments to the city. Crocker was one of the oldest public buildings in Des Moines, having been built in 1874. Most visitors were former students and had sentimental feelings about the building. Some requested and were permitted to purchase small objects as remembrances. An open house was sponsored by the P.T.A. and held at 8 p.m. on May 9, 1962 to give all people who wished an opportunity to visit the building for the last time. A short program was held in the gym to honor all past P.T.A. presidents in attendance and Mrs. Winifred Nidiver. Mrs. Nidiver had been a teacher forty-two years at Crocker and was retiring. Crocker was demolished during the summer of 1962 by burning. It was used by a state agency for filming a fire training film. Moulton Elementary school opened September 1962. One part of the building, the original section on the west, had been demolished because of age. Other sections built at much later dates were remodeled into classrooms. There were 15 classrooms and one kindergarten. The kindergarten room is quite an attraction due to its size, draperies, lighting and latest equipment. Other facilities include large offices, cafeteria, library, auditorium, gym and locker rooms.