Winslow Elementary

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City/Town: Winslow
Location Class: School
Year Built: 1930
Year Abandoned: 2006
Status: Restored
Photojournalist: Michael SchwarzEddy SissonJames Kirkendall

In the 1930’s, in the southern part of Washington county, the Winslow school for K-12 was created to support education for the rural areas around Winslow, a sparsely populated town in North-West Arkansas. For the next seventy years, Winslow Elementary and high school would remain the only option in primary and secondary education for the area. Finally, in 2004, the high school consolidated with the Greenland school district and closed down.  However, the elementary school remained open for the next couple of years.

After a long history of declining enrollment, the elementary school closed its doors, but not before influencing the creation of a public library where the high school used to stand. The history of this rural school is fairly straight forward.  What’s particularly interesting is the state of decay that remained. There are many parts of the school that appear destroyed and vandalized, as you may expect from a closed down school. Viewing the art room, for example, with splattered paint on the walls and art supplies utterly destroyed, calls to something primal. Walking through certain rooms of the school, however, gives the impression that the school is still very much in attendance. The decorations and desks are still in their place, the markers and pens are ready for use, and there are still assignments left written in notebooks and on chalkboards. It seems as though, one day, a fire alarm was pulled and everyone went outside to follow procedure, but no one ever came back.

The effect is both haunting and beautiful as we are allowed a glimpse into the everyday life of this school and its students, from the fake money used to teach shopping and finance to the student painting that still hangs prominently in the cafeteria. Walking through, we began to expect the 3:00 bell to ring, and when we left, we were almost disappointed that it hadn’t.

Article written by Wells Thompson and Michael Schwarz – AAR staff

KNWA Press




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Tanya Farris
Tanya Farris
3 years ago

The Winslow Community Center Association invites everyone to come see us and see what we've done by reacquiring, restoring and re-purposing these beloved buildings. It's a work in progress…but no longer ABANDONED ARKANSAS!

Npower
Reply to  Michael Schwarz
12 days ago

Thanks a lot for the update

Sparkle Works
3 years ago

I wish more people would post valuable content like this. This is the first time I've been on your website, but after this, I doubt it will be the last time.

Jackie
3 years ago

Man, what a crazy story. I'll probably share this with some of my friends. Thanks again for posting it.

Chris Provence
3 years ago

Wow. Just stumbled across this. Brings back sooo many memories of going there (1990-1996). My mother taught 4th grade, my sisters & I played basketball there, and I remember the band G-Force Cat, who included our math teacher Keith Smith as drummer, playing one of the school dances. Lots of friends, wonderful teachers, and even more memories galore! Heh, the giant squirrel on the gym wall was by far the most intimidating a squirrel could ever look!

Tanya Farris
Tanya Farris
Reply to  Chris Provence
2 years ago

Hello Chris! I'm with the Winslow Community Center Association. We've acquired and begun major repairs to the facilities. You should see that Squirrel now! Alan Adair was the original artist when he was 16 years old. Now, many years after being a professional, he's gone back in and given it a facelift that will make all Squirrel alumni proud. Pictures can be seen on our Facebook page of all the great things happening at the Campus. Visit us https://www.facebook.com/WinslowCCA/

Moving furniture
3 years ago

Very good and very wonderful article https://goo.gl/d4wmnS

Sparkle Works
4 years ago

Really great post. This answered the majority of my questions. When I read this I actually opened up a word document and started taking notes haha.

Aaron Lopeman
Aaron Lopeman
4 years ago

Still sad it closed class of 2017

jacobmilesfilm
jacobmilesfilm
5 years ago

Nice news story and great location!

Christy Kay Webb
5 years ago

oh my how I miss all my old friends and teachers that school really was the best and the year it closed broke so many of our hearts. I love looking back at all my pictures from then.

Carrie Laughter
Carrie Laughter
5 years ago

My children attended school here until 2003. The teachers and staff there were wonderful. This little school was a family. It is so sad to see what has become of the school and the whole town for that matter. It's like a ghost town these days. Sad.

@RealTomSawyer
5 years ago

So sad to see all of that equipment just wasted. Winslow or Greenland couldn't repurpose any of the materials? Or perhaps donate them to other school districts, or day cares, or homeschool parents?

Taxpayer dollars pissed away.

Patti Provence
Patti Provence
5 years ago

I went to school all 12 years, my mom graduated there, my kids graduated there, and I taught there 16 years…8 in 4th and 8 in 6th….super kids, lots of fun….wonderful memories…we were a family….very sad……I played basketball in that gym…..thanks for the article and pictures….

Dale Gathright
Dale Gathright
5 years ago

These guys do good work documenting abandoned places in Arkansas. But let's not give them any more rural schools to document. Start contacting your legislators, some who may be new, as well as the Governor-elect, to repeal Act 60 and allow former school districts to re-constitute.

Renner R.
Renner R.
5 years ago

I grew up in Winslow and was all state two years playing basketball in this gym.. My Dad was the maintenance guy and over saw the cleaning and construction of the gym floor.. A lot of history. Because of my playing days in this gym I am now a head basketball coach.. Picture brought back many memories.. Thanks for sharing

Alisa Williams
Alisa Williams
5 years ago

I taught at the high school, sad to see it close. Where can I see this video? Lots of fun memories there!

Heather Foster
Heather Foster
5 years ago

So sad to see what our memories have been reduced too! This gym and school hold so many memories I can't imagine why anyone would deface it like they have-feeling heartbroken!

Amber Adcock
Amber Adcock
5 years ago

Wow! Brings tears to my eyes.

Michael Horn
Michael Horn
5 years ago

I refereed one of the last games every played there. It's sad to see it in that condition.

Haley Burnett
Haley Burnett
5 years ago

My love for Basketball was created here. I love this place. 5 years ago today my family was there cleaning the place up, power washing the walls, vacuuming the bleachers so we could hold the funeral service for my grandpa. Thank you for putting a spotlight on our little town, Winslow: Home of the Squirrels.

LeDonna
LeDonna
5 years ago

Thank you for documenting this!! My daughter and I were in tears watching, remembering our times as a Squirrel… very special times and even more special people..so very painful to see the neglect and destruction of my beloved school…. Forever proud to be a Squirrel!!!!!!!!

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