Greenwood Elementary

23
City/Town: Hot Springs
Location Class: SchoolGovernment
Year Built: 1939
Year Abandoned: 2009
Status: Abandoned
Photographer: Michael Schwarz

The large sign, hand-written with bold sweeping letter on white poster board, authoritatively proclaims:

Class Room Rules:

1.       Everyone is to be in their assigned seat.

2.       Everyone will speak only when called on by the teacher or aide.

3.       Only do what you have permission to do.

4.       Treat each person the way that you want them to treat you.

greenwood_school1stgradeNot necessarily the rules that we all grew up with in school…but then again, the old Summit School wasn’t necessarily always like most schools.  Originally built as Greenwood in 1939 as a regular elementary school within the Hot Springs community, the school began losing attendance in the 1980’s, it was finally closed in 1993, and it then sat abandoned.  But not for very long, though.

It was reopened in 1994 at which time it became known as the Summit School – an educational facility for at-risk students that were unable to function well within the more traditional educational settings. These students, often suffering from behavioral-based problem’s, frequently found an environment better suited to their more problematic learning needs within the Summit School.  And the school was very successful in its second life, too.  The school was so successful in its special mission that, in 2009 a brand new, more modern facility was specifically constructed to house the growing facility.

And the old Greenwood Elementary School in Hot Springs sat empty, again.

As is often the case with such buildings, it would cost too much to tear the school down and clear the land and nobody’s really clamoring for the property anyway, so the local school district is simply using the deserted building as storage.  But only the bottom floors.

greenwoodschoolteachers1950sAll of the rooms on the top floor remain very much as they were left on that last day of school back in 2001.  Student desks still sit in their special seating arrangements, al geared toward the most effective classroom management patterns.  Posters still adorn many of the walls.  Chalkboards and dry erase boards still contain their last messages rooted in those final days of learning.  Teacher’s desks still rest in the corners of their classrooms that provided the best views of all of the students on a simultaneous basis.  Piles of papers and manila folders full of even more papers remain stacked on those desks, perhaps representing that one last round of work that departing teachers opted to leave undone, resting secure in the knowledge that they would not be returning to it.   Framed pictures continue to provide educationally themed decorations.   Having been originally built in the 1930’s, all of the classrooms have very tall and expansive windows geared toward allowing maximum illumination by the sunlight, but now the curtains over those majestic old windows remain closed to be opened no more.  And hundreds of antiquated wooden  seats, all arranged in a multi-tiered bleachers-style format, all stare emptily out over a spacious wooden gymnasium floor, it’s shiny luster gradually loosing it’s battle with the years that are no assaulting it.

And the outside of the building?  The outside of the building looks just like an image pulled out of time and the passing reminder of another day.  The old facility’s archaic red brick facades, tall square chimney, high reaching banks of windows, all lend themselves to a much earlier day. Those were far simpler times.

*/THIS FACILITY IS NOW — USED FOR STORAGE FOR THE HOT SPRINGS SCHOOL DISTRICT! IT HAS AN ALARM AND IS GUARDED! DO NOT GO TO THIS LOCATION!\*

23 Comments

  1. mike sullivan on

    Also, we were in the gym or the auditorium for music appreciation in 2nd grade when the principal, I think his name was Mr. Mosher, came in and told us that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas.

    • Mike,
      I attended Greenwood from 1948 to 1954. (See my previous postings below from 2014 and 2016.)
      Mrs. Stewart was also my first grade teacher. A very good one as I recall. She paid attention to everyone and was extremely interested in “her students”. She would always speak to and check on “her students” through out their career at Greenwood. As I remember there were two teachers for each grade so half of all the students were hers.
      She got me of to a good start in my education. I wish my daughters could have been “her students”.
      I would like to hear from you about your time at Greenwood Elementary.

  2. అష్టావక్ర గీత అష్టావక్రుడికి, జనకుడికి సంభాషణ అనుకుంటాను. ఎప్పుడో ఈ పుస్తకం చూశాను లెండి…అప్పుడు ఇంట్రో తెలుసుకున్న జ్ఞాపకం తక్కిన వివరాలు రవి గారే చెప్పాలి మరి!

  3. Chanda "Blue" R. on

    I went to school there from 76 to 82 and remember Mr. Burroughs as the principal who very patiently tolerated me and my madness. It is sad to see the school in such dire conditions, but glad to have the memories of being there.

  4. I attended Greenwood starting in September 1948 until May of 1954 for the 1st thru the 5th grades. I am the blond kid in the class picture on the back row second from the left. Mary Moran is the girl to my left. Our first grade teacher was Mrs. Stewart and she is the lady in the faculty photo on the back row second from the right. Our second grade teacher was Miss Mailis who is standing to the left of the principal (whose name I cannot remember). There were only 16 or 17 teachers in the entire school because there were only 14 classrooms. The administrative staff was the principal, two assistants and the janitor. Off duty teachers handled some of the office paper work. I later attended college with one of the teacher's son and visited with his family 14 to 16 years later. We sent a lot of time re-visiting our days at Greenwood School. I am very sad to see the Summit School has a 1 out of 10 rating, no matter what this article says. To be a 1 out of 10 Arkansas is really a bad school!

    • I have done a little further research/remembering and have found that there were no school buses that served the school. Everyone walked, rode a bicycle, a city bus (5 cents round trip with a transfer for the ride home) or were dropped off by a parent. Lunch was 15 cents with one carton of milk (pint). I had forgotten about the cafeteria cooks who numbered about five and they did all the cooking and cleanup. Fish sticks or salmon croquets on Fridays and no pizza ever (had not found its way to Arkansas yet). We had to wipe our plates clean if we did not finish everything on them and stack them in the kitchen portal. The eating tools went in a separate tub. There was a 15 minute recess at 9:00 AM and another at 2:00 PM. School started at 8:00 AM sharp and we were dismissed at 4:00 PM, unless you had to “stay after school”. Bad stuff! Starting in 1952 the third grade and up got out at 4:30 PM.
      Enough about all that!

    • Because of this website and all the memories it invoked, on a drive-around vacation this pasted October to Colorado and New Mexico, I re-routed my trip thru Hot Springs for a couple of days and visited a bunch of the places I remembered from my time there from 1948 thru 1954. One of the first places was Greenwood Elementary School. Unfortunately and sadly, the photo essay and text are very accurate. It was sad to see the Abandoned Arkansas website on the school but to see it in person was truly heart hurting. I spent about 1.5 hours walking, looking, sitting, photographing and remembering my time there. For the first two years that we lived in Hot Springs, my parents rented a duplex house just directly across the street from the school. It is still there and is still a rental property.
      I went around the corner to McClard's BBQ and meet the son of my classmate and baseball buddy, Joe McClard who had passed away some years before. BBQ is still as good as or better than I remembered from 60+ years ago, or is that just nostalgia. I was very glad to met him and see that the BBQ business has been good for the family for so long.
      Also very sad to see so many Hot Springs landmarks on this website.

  5. I went there for third grade, had Mrs. Sexton. My grandfather was the principal there for many years. I have alot of memories going all over that place. The pictures are upsetting on how the building was left after being the Summit School.

  6. I attended 1st-4th grade here. 1966-1970. Many good memories in those classrooms and gym! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Belinda M. Golden on

    I went there from the 1st grade thru the 6th grade….
    Tht was over 50 yrs ago. … it's a shame how the history has
    Been neglected. ….
    Belinda M. Golden- Webb

    • They had classes there until Spring 2009. They they moved the Summit school off of Park Avenue and Park to Main Street.

  8. You don't happen to know if they would sell any the books and stuff out of it do you? Or do you know who/how to get in touch with someone to ask if they would?

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