History

WASHINGTON SCHOOL
1607 North 15th Street
Red and Black Warriors


            Eighteen years after the Independent School District of Boise City was chartered in 1881, the School Board passed a resolution which stated that a new school building was needed in the north part of town.  The date was May 26, 1899.  W. E. Pierce donated the west one half of Block 10 in the Brumback Addition for the four room brick school that was eventually built at a cost of $5,000, including the building, equipment and furniture.  On February 19, 1900, Washington School first opened its doors under Principal Loda L. Bellville and two teachers, Miss Jeanette Tomlinson and Miss Margaret B. Thomas.  Although only two rooms were needed at first, by the 1900 01 term, all four rooms were in use.  Tuition was 25 cents a week, and on January 13, 1902, several students were suspended for not paying.

            Growing pains continued as only two years after Washington's opening, the School Board discussed an addition in the March 6, 1902 meeting.  Eventually, the bond issue passed and Washington School, enlarged by four more rooms opened with seven teachers and six grades in September of 1903.  The average teacher load varied from 36 to 42.  At this time, the school had the best attendance record of any in the city with 97 99% attendance, and there were 2,384 students in all of Boise.

            On March 9, 1908, the School Board purchased the east one half of Block 10 of the Brumback Addition, giving Washington School a full block as it stands today.  It appears to have been the first school to receive that much extra ground in the city.  Outhouses remained until 1913, when a Mr. Pike called them unsightly and requested their removal.

            On approximately June 3, 1917, a fire swept through the old building, reducing the size of the school to one building of eight rooms, grades 1 6.  Finally, on October 18, 1946, a contract of $125,180 was awarded for a four room addition.  By 1947, the facility had twelve rooms, an auditorium and stage, and modern restrooms on the first and second floors.

            For many years, Washington School entered floats in the Fairyland Parade, now known as the Holiday Parade.  Washington also participated in many PTA Stunt Nights.