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Will Rogers

Built in 1955; last BPSD classes in 1986 except for 2006-2010 Early Childhood Center; sold to PTI in November 2019, but Technology Services still renting out 5 rooms through June 2021

Will Rogers Complex
Will Rogers in 2019
Click any image to enlarge it

Will Rogers was built for $149,329 in 1955 to serve the new Pennington Hills development in east Bartlesville at 4620 E. Frank Phillips Boulevard. The next year a $194,510 addition was made. In 1960 $35,663 was spent on a second addition, and a final addition in 1963 cost $32,512. The elementary school served up to sixth grade until 1962 when reportedly the 5th and 6th graders were transferred, but by 1978 it was again serving those grades.

The school was closed in 1986 and the next year the district's curriculum office and teacher center were moved there. The building housed the regional Professional Development Center until that function ceased in the summer of 2003; the Teacher Center closed in the summer of 2004. For several years much of the north part of the building was Technology Services while the former gym and south part were used for professional development meetings. The special needs pre-school classes formerly housed at Southview moved here in 2003.

2006-2010 ECC
Twenty years after closing as a school, the building was renovated and re-activated temporarily as an Early Childhood Center in 2006 in response to new housing developments in the Ranch Heights,Wayside, and Wilson areas. It served Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes for Ranch Heights and Wayside areas and Pre-Kindergarten classes for the Wilson service area. After the expansion of the neighborhood schools was completed in the summer of 2011, Will Rogers was slated to close. But statewide budget cuts from a severe recession led to the school being closed a year early in the summer of 2010 to reduce district overhead and administrative costs.

In the summer of 2011 various district services were relocated from McKinley to Will Rogers: Technology Services, Psychological Services, Adult Education, Operation Eagle, Child Nutrition, Even Start, Parents as Teachers, Homeless Services, and Safe and Healthy Schools. All of those services, except Technology Services, were relocated to the high school or Madison campuses in the summer of 2016. 

The facility was rented for a few years to the Paths to Independence private school for children with autism, with Technology Services still occupying five rooms at the northeast corner of the building. The facility was sold to Paths to Independence in late 2019 for $165,000. Technology Services will lease its area from PTI through June 2021. It is probable that the Education Service Center will be expanded by then to allow Technology Services to relocate to that facility.

Will Rogers Construction
Will Rogers under construction

Original Facade
Original facade

Will Rogers before 1986
When Will Rogers was still an elementary school 

Paths to Independence Entrance
Paths to Independence entrance