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Truman Elementary School

Truman Elementary School

Location Class:
Built: 1930's | Abandoned: 1987
Historic Designation: African American Heritage Site
Status: Demolished
Photojournalist: AbandonedOK Team

The abandoned Truman elementary school caught fire today. Closed for nearly 20 years its fate is definitely sealed. “There was somebody with fireworks and then I saw the smoke coming out of the top of the building, and then I called the fire department,” said the resident, who asked not to be identified. “It’s ridiculous, truthfully. They say the east side (of town) is bad anyways and this just makes it even worse.” quote from neighbor who saw the fire begin. (newsok.com) The building has been vacant for more than 20 years, said Oklahoma City Public Schools spokeswoman Kathleen Kennedy. A neighbor said the school has been used for storage, but Kennedy said she couldn’t confirm that. The school was closed in 1987 as school officials faced pending state funding cuts, according to Oklahoman archives. Then-Superintendent Arthur Stellar said closing Truman, which didn’t meet fire code standards, and another school was a “more humane” way to address budget cuts than reducing staff or instructional costs. The school had survived closure threatened during previous rounds of budget cuts.

Truman originally was one of the city’s all-black schools. Oklahoma City’s school board ended segregation in 1955.

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Michael Schwarz

Starting from a young age, I’ve always loved exploring. I can remember venturing off and scoping out the houses being built in the developing neighborhood right behind my house. As I got older, I found myself appreciating the work and love that went into architecture and just being excited to pass by the beautifully designed places in downtown.

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