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School History

The junior high in Webb City was first established at the Central School with the eighth grades attending classes there.  The seventh grades joined the eighth grades at Central in 1920 where all work was put on a departmental basis similar to that of the high school.  At that time, 20 percent of the eighth-grade graduates never entered high school and a great effort was made to make a practical course of study to prepare those graduates for the simple and ordinary duties of life.


In 1931 the Central School was closed and the seventh and eighth grades were sent to classes at the high school. In 1933 the Junior and Senior High schools were combined into a 6- year unit; three years junior high school and three years senior high school.


In 1952 a survey team from the University of Missouri visited the Webb City schools and made a study of the school program.  One of the recommendations was for the construction of a junior high school in the same block with the high school building.  There were several advantages to be gained by locating the new junior high building near the high school such as the availability of the school lunchroom and the use of certain teachers in both junior and senior high thus having the benefit of better-trained personnel for both student groups.  It was also stated that this organization of grades seven and eight in one building would serve as a workable transition period between the six elementary grades and the four senior high grades with some departmentalization and expanded the curriculum.


In October 1957 voters approved a bond issue of $250,000 for erecting and furnishing a 10-classroom building to be located at the corner of First and Washington Streets just south of the high school. In April 1958 the Board of Education awarded Homer Carr Construction Company of Carthage the construction contract after submitting a low bid of $180,304.  The figure included finishing the exterior of the building in Carthage stone instead of brick as originally considered.  The new building would have a floor area of 18,764 square feet.  A groundbreaking ceremony was held on July 1, 1958. New school superintendent, Lawrence Miner took part in the ceremony on his first day on the job.  The building was completed in February 1959 and an open house was held March 15, 1959.  


The two-story building had seven regular classrooms, three on the first floor and four on the second.  Also included were a music room, office, health room, teachers’ conference room, library, boiler room, 2 restrooms and 2 storage rooms.  The second floor was used for home economics, arts and crafts, 2 restrooms and 2 storage rooms.  Junior High students were to use the band room, gymnasium, and lunchroom facilities in the High School building.  In 1965 the annex building was added at a cost of $150,000.  A junior high cafeteria and media center was added in 1983 at a total cost of $750,000.  


In August 1993 a 12-room sixth-grade wing and a four-room junior high addition were added to the junior high building.  More additions including classrooms, cafeteria/media center and an elevator were completed in the summer of 1995.  A new middle school was constructed in 1999 and in April, the sixth-grade classes were moved there.  The seventh and eighth grades took over the sixth-grade wing.  


The Board of Education decided to construct a new gymnasium in 2000 and a bond issue was brought before the voters.  The 2.5 million dollar bond issue passed by a large margin.  The 1954 gymnasium was torn down in June 2000 to make way for the new facility.  The new gymnasium created a unified campus by linking the main building, annex, and gymnasium together with a wide hallway.  It was dedicated in October 2001.  More changes were made to the Junior High in 2004 with a two-story expansion and with 2 additional elevators added to the building.

Old newspaper clipping of central high