Northwest Middle School – Our Past
Location: 18th Street and Haskell Avenue
Other names: Northwest Junior High School
In 1925, the first yearbook, Nor’Wester, was published as related in the “Foreword,” courtesy of Mrs. Tena Solon Masson. Click here to view information from the yearbook.
From the 1925 Nor’Wester yearbook … Northwest Junior High School was organized in September 1923. The building was not completed when school began. Half-day sessions were held in the Kansas City, Kansas High School building at Ninth Street and Minnesota Avenue.
The high school met in the morning and Northwest in the afternoon. That was the first year in our new building but the second year the school was organized. Northwest is a four-story building located at 18th Street and Haskell Avenue. There are 30 classrooms in the building, an auditorium, which seats about 900 people, a large gymnasium, a library and a cafeteria. Around the building are seven and one-half acres of land.
1859 – Patent dated June 1, 1859, Recorded July 29, 1887; Competent Class “A”; Patent Book, Page 89. 1859 – Pursuant to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Articles of the Treaty concluded Jan. 31, 1855, between the U. S. Commissioners and the Wyandott Indians, a return dated April 14, 1859, from the Commissioner of Indian affairs has been made to the General Land Office embracing a transcript entitled “Wyandotte Reserves Competent Class Book A” designating the several allotments of land awarded to heads of families and individuals of said tribe and that the following allotment of land laid down on the plat accompanying said return as No. 89 has been made to John Hicks, the head of a family consisting of himself, Mary, William, Henry, Katilda, Virginia and Francis Hicks (later Wyandot Chief). (Signed by President James Buchanan, Secretary J. A. B. Leonard and Recorder of the General Land Office, I. N. Granger) (containing 129 acres)
- 1859, Aug. 4 – Mortgage from John and Mary Hicks to Lipman Meyer (witnessed by John W. Greyeyes and Barzillai Gray)
- 1859, Aug. 9 – Warranty Deed from John and Mary Hicks to Hannah E. Zane
- 1860, March 21 – Mortgage from John and Mary Hicks to Fielding Johnson and George W. Veale (witnessed by Adam Brown and Charles Chadwick)
- 1860, Sept. 29 – Mortgage from John and Mary Hicks to Lipman Meyer (John W Greyeyes, witness)
- 1960, Oct. 20 – Assignment from Lipman Meyer to Jacob Kester
1922 – Ground purchased at 18th and Haskell
1923 – September. New building not ready. Northwest Junior was organized in the old Wyandotte High School building, 9th Street and State Avenue, in September 1923 and remained in that building until May 1, 1924, when the school was transferred to the new building at 18th Street and Haskell Ave.
1909-1925 – Rose/Peterson, Architects – The design of two junior high schools from this period, Northwest (1922-23) and the more elaborately detailed Northeast (1923-24), employed those elements common to the elementary schools, while expanding the width to five bays and adding additional stories.
Note: From the Historical and Architectural Survey, KC Planning and Zoning, Phase 4, 1994: Rose and Peterson, Architects. Northwest Junior High School was designed in 1922-23, with additions in 1939 and 1960. Joseph W. Radotinsky and the firm of Radotinsky, Meyn & Deardorff, respectively designed the additions. Symmetrical in design, this structure features constasting color brickwork in a diamond pattern encircling the building near the roof line. Stone columns flanking a prominent main entry, stone quoining, water table, cornice table and rusticated ground level are other notable features.
1924 – Probably January. Building occupied by 7th and 8th grades from six schools. Mr. A. W. Allen first principal; 29 teachers in 29 rooms.
March 24. First PTA. Mrs. S. V. Hays, president.
1928 – First public address system to be installed in Kansas City schools.
1933 – Two portable buildings added.
1939 – Seven-room brick addition erected.
1951 Flood – We offered our facilities so far as possible to the stricken industries of Kansas City. Monday, July 16, we opened the Northwest Junior High School to the General Motors, Buick, Oldsmobile, Pontiac Plant. They installed their temporary offices, an engineering unit, a personnel unit, and an inoculation unit. Permission had previously been granted to use the grounds at Northwest Junior for parking motor cars salvages from the plant. Mr. Ed Richter arranged for the use of Northwest Junior, and the building is under the supervision of K. H. Middleton, Assistant Personnel Director.
1959 – Addition planned. Permission obtained to encroach on 18th Street 10 feet beyond legal limit to have four classrooms, two music rooms, gymnasium and cafeteria. Raymond Meyn, architect.
1961 – January 19. Whole building occupied. Had been on half day sessions. Delayed by construction strike.
1970 – Boundary change between Northwest and Central Junior to alleviate overcrowding. Seventh graders in Mark Twain and McKinley attendance zones to Central.
1971 – Boundary change because of overcrowding. Fairfax assigned to Northwest Junior.
1982 – 9th grade transferred to senior high schools. Changed to middle school serving grades 6-8.
2002 – Voters approved a proposed $120 million bond issue at the Municipal Election to air-condition schools, improve technology and make other upgrades to schools and public libraries. Northwest was part of Phase II, which was completed in the summer of 2002.
1924-1956 – A. W. Allen
1957-1964 – G. W. Corporon
1964-1969 – William J. McIntire
1969-1987 – Carl B. Bruce
1987-1994 – Leslie L. Brown
1994-1997 – Doug Bolden
1997-1999 – Rotier Daniel
1999-2002 – Al Hunt
2003-2006 – Laurie Boyd
2006-2007 – Earl Williams
2008-2020 – Donnie Mitchell