Parkwood-Upjohn Elementary School

Parkwood School

Parkwood School, Park Street, Kalamazoo, 1940, photographed by Mamie L. Austin.

Building Chronology

1920

Voters approved construction of a new elementary school on South Westnedge hill [Kalamazoo Gazette, 3 July 1920]

1920

Board of Education chose Billingham and Cobb to be the architects for the new school and the DeRight Brothers to construct it. [Board of Education Minutes, 1920-1921]

1921

Parkwood Elementary School opened in October 1921 with a capacity for 300 students. [Kalamazoo Gazette, 27 August 1922]

1930

Board of Education approved plans for addition to Parkwood Elementary submitted by Billingham and Cobb. [Board of Education Minutes, 1930-1931]

1931

New two-story addition opened for use on 6 April 1931. Contained combined auditorium and gymnasium, Kindergarten room, three grade rooms, offices, clinic and teachers’ lounge. [Kalamazoo Gazette, 4 April 1931]

1938

Announcement made of a building to be built next to Parkwood Elementary School for special education students.  Funding received from Grace Bray Upjohn and other local donors in addition to a Public Works Administration grant. Albert Kahn from Detroit was the architect. [Kalamazoo Gazette, 3 May 1938]

1938

Pearson Construction awarded contract for the construction of the new school. [Kalamazoo Gazette, 13 July 1938]

1939

Harold Upjohn School opened to the public. It contained special facilities and equipment for the education and treatment of children with orthopedic, speech, vision and hearing problems and children "of low vitality" (that is, malnourished) [Kalamazoo Gazette, 8 September 1939]

1948

Board of Education accepted gift from the Kalamazoo Shrine Club for a breezeway which connected the Harold Upjohn School with the Parkwood Elementary School. Breezeway included an elevator. [Board of Education Minutes, 1947-1948]

1948

Board of Education accepted bid from M. C. J. Billingham, Inc. for the construction of the breezeway. [Board of Education Minutes, 1947-1948]

1955

Board of Education accepted the plans from M. C. J. Billingham on 5 May 1955 for a one-story addition to Parkwood on the north side of the structure. [Board of Education Minutes, 1954-1955]

1955

Board of Education awarded the contract for the construction of the addition to Parkwood Elementary to Ray Stevens Company. [Board of Education Minutes, 1955-1956]

1956

M. C. J. Billingham reported to the Board of Education that the addition to Parkwood Elementary was completed.  [Board of Education Minutes, 1955-1956]

2001

A number of small projects would begin at Parkwood-Upjohn Elementary in April 2002 including a new connecting structure between the second floors of the Parkwood and Upjohn buildings, a new library, new computer room and an expanded auditorium/gymnasium. [Kalamazoo Gazette, 28 September 2001

Upjohn School

Upjohn School, Kalamazoo 1940, probably photographed by Mamie L. Austin.

Sources

Copies of the supporting documents for this chronology can be found in the Local History Room Subject File: Kalamazoo Public Schools - Parkwood-Upjohn School.