In the late 1880ís, the original Central school was found inadequate to accommodate
the growing demands of the city. The population of the city was moving northward and
it was decided to build a new school in that section of the city.
Webster School was built in 1889 at a cost of $7500. It was located at the southwest
corner of Aylor and Allen (Main) Streets. The original structure contained four rooms.
In 1900 two additional rooms were added and in 1906 Webster School was enlarged
from six to ten rooms and was connected to the cityís sewer system. The new addition
was ready on September 7, 1906.
In 1937 local citizens held a protest session with the Board of Education objecting to the
unsanitary and unsafe conditions of the Webster School building. The subject of a bond
issue for the construction of a new building was brought forth. Voters passed a $25,000
bond issue in the spring of 1937. Issuance of the bonds was contingent upon appropriation
of a $14,560 in matching funds by the Federal Works Project Administration (WPA). That
summer, Senators Harry S Truman and Bennett Champ Clark sent telegrams to local political
leaders announcing the grant approval. It was decided to start the school year in the old building,
stating that it would take considerable time to draw up the plans for the new building. Construction
plans for the new school building were finalized in October. Estimated cost was $37,000, $5,000
more than the original estimate. Demolition of the old school began in January 1938. The WPA
hired local workers to build the new school. During construction, younger children were sent to
school in nearby churches and the larger three grades attended classes at Franklin School. The
new building was ready for the 1938-1939 school term.
A kitchen and cafeteria were added to Webster School in 1964. Branham Brothers Construction
Company of Neosho won the bid for these additions along with an additional bid of $510 to replace
the vinyl floor tile with quarry tile.
In 1983 the school board adopted a reorganization plan in an effort to relieve crowded classrooms
at Mark Twain and Eugene Field Schools where as many as 37 pupils were enrolled in a class.
Webster School had an average classroom size of 22 pupils. The plan designated that Webster
was to become a first grade center for all the schools in the district.
A four-classroom addition to the school was completed in 1993 and in 1994 the school board
called for bids on a construction project that would allow all of the second graders in Webb City
to attend classes at Webster School. This would reduce the class size in the primary grades.
In 1995 sixteen classrooms, 2 restrooms, an enlarged cafeteria and administrative offices were
added to the school at a cost of $901,759. The new Webster Primary Center was opened in
September 1995. Webster School has continued to grow with new offices added in 2001 and
two additional classrooms added in 2004.
Mr. G. L. Rankin commenced Monday morning ( making ? ) the repairs on the Webster School house.
The whole east end of the old part of the building will be torn out and rebuilt on a firm foundation and when
completed the building will be good as new and safe in which to send the little ones to school. Mr. Rankin is
a pains taking contractor and the people can rest assured that the work will be done right.
The Webb City Daily Sentinel, July 8, 1902, page 3, column 2.