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Boise Independent School District

Schools from the Past

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Campus School (1953-1991)

  • 2100 College Boulevard


Campus School opened in 1953. It was a twelve room school located on the campus of Boise Junior College. The school provided college students in the field of education a place for practice teaching under Boise School District supervision. The classrooms were built with observation rooms with one-way mirrors. These observation rooms were attached to master teachers' offices.

When Boise Junior College became a four year college, space was taken from the Campus School playground area for new construction of buildings. As the college expanded and enrollment increased, space needs became greater, and the Campus playground area progressively became smaller.

In 1990, the school was sold to Boise State University and classrooms were converted to offices and teaching spaces.

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Central School (1906-1973)

  • 610 North Seventh Street

Central School

The State Legislature passed a law on February 4, 1881 creating the Independent School District of Boise City No. 1. The School District began operations in the large Central School building in September, 1882. The school housed four grades; primary, secondary, grammar, and high school. Central was the only public high school during the territorial period. The original building was located at 8th and Jefferson (the site of the State Capitol Senate Chambers).

A new Central School opened in 1906 at the corner of 7th and Washington The old building was used for a time for some special programs, and burned in 1908. Beginning in 1946, Central was the home of the cadet teacher program for Boise College.

Central was closed at the end of the 1971-72 school year,but was used as the District's Alternative School during the 1972-73 school year. The school was then sold to the State and was demolished in 1974 to make a parking lot.

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Cole School (1888-2008)

  • 7415 Fairview Avenue

In 1888 the area to the west of Boise City was known as "The Bluffs". "A new school will be built immediately in District 5 across the river on the bluffs," resounded The Idaho Daily Statesman on Saturday, February 18, 1888.

Mr. and Mrs. Orrie Cole donated two acres of land about four miles from town in 1888 for the construction of the new public school. All the neighbors helped build the school. It was a one room school and the teacher was Cynthia Mann, who taught grades 1 through 8. Within five years the school was overcrowded. In 1902 a new structure was started and the old one room school was moved from the premises. The old structure was moved to a site in Northwest Boise, where it resided until 1984, when it burned to the ground.


The new school was a two-story building. The two downstairs rooms were ready for occupancy in 1903. By 1906 four rooms were finished; three were used for classes and the fourth for programs and community gatherings.

In 1934 there was need for classroom space. Four more classrooms were added, along with a new stairway and a gymnasium. The original school was red brick, but the entire school was stuccoed so it would match the gym. In 1941 a tunnel was constructed to connect the basement of the school to the gym. In 1946 the bench area grew at such a rapid rate that Cole School held half-day classes. Changes were taking place rapidly in 1947, and patrons of Cole wanted to be part of the newly organized Class A Ada County No. 2 Fairmont District. This lasted just a short time, and on January 12, 1948, Cole was annexed into the Boise District by voter approval.

In 1952, seven classrooms and an office were added to the old building, replacing portable and temporary buildings. Cole School became overcrowded and in 1960 four temporary classrooms were set up in the gymnasium, in anticipation of passage of a bond issue to build additional schools. The bond passed and new schools were built. The area still grew and in 1969 the last major structural change took place with the addition of four classrooms to the end of the 1951 addition.

In 1991, significant improvements were made to the school, including the restoration of the old cupola from the second Cole School, and a reroof of the main building.

The school closed in 2008 as part of a District project to consolidate several elementary schools into new facilities.

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Franklin School (1905-2008)

  • 5007 W. Franklin Road

In 1903, a decision was made to build a new schoolhouse made of stone, to accommodate the increasing number of students, to replace the over crowded one-room Scott School.

Franklin School

Even before the cornerstone of the new school was laid, on the corner of Orchard and Franklin, the school board met and chose the name Franklin School. This much needed building was completed in the summer of 1905. The school bell was added in 1907. High school classes were taught beginning in 1908 and in 1911 Franklin School graduated its first high school student.

Once again the school was overcrowded. Fortunately, in 1914, a construction bond was successful and a two-room frame structure was added to the stone schoolhouse. In 1915 a manual training and domestic science building was built just south and west of the stone schoolhouse. An addition was made to the stone building in 1920. Between 1924 and 1934 four additional acres were added to the school grounds.

Franklin School

From 1911 to 1917 there were no high school graduates from Franklin School; most students attended Boise High School. However, Franklin awarded high school diplomas every year from 1917 until 1949; it became an accredited high school in 1934. 1936 saw a large expansion for Franklin School: three classrooms, a gymnasium, boys and girl’s dressing rooms, new space for the domestic science and manual training programs, and a social room for community affairs. Three additional acres were also added to the school grounds this same year.

District #45, to include Franklin School, was annexed into the Boise School District in 1949 and thus ended Franklin School's "career" serving high school students. In this same year, a permanent twelve-room, two-story structure was added to the west end of the main building. This construction included a new entrance to the school and a new office area. In 1974 a six-room satellite building was constructed on the northwest portion of the playground to accommodate the schools expanding population.

The school closed in 2008 as part of a District project to consolidate several elementary schools into new facilities.

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Lincoln School / Fort Boise (1949-1992)

  • 300 Fort Street

Lincoln School

The first Lincoln School was built in 1896 at the corner of Fourth and Idaho Streets. The District Administrative Offices were located in the basement of Lincoln for several years and Board meetings were held there. In 1949 the Superintendent's Report indicated that the old Lincoln School could be sold when a new Lincoln was completed. The Boise Barracks, located at 300 Fort Street, was the best location for this school, according to Superintendent Zed L. Foy. The old Lincoln was closed at the end of the 1949-50 school year the new Lincoln opened the next fall.Ft. Boise

The new Lincoln School was opened in 1950 as an opportunity school for children needing remedial work. The school served grades 1-8. Lincoln remained as the District's "special education school" until the late 1980's, when the move to more inclusive schools caused the District to relocate most services to the sites.The Gifted and Talented Program then was housed at Lincoln for a period of time, before being moved to site locations.

In 1992, Lincoln School's name was retired, and the school became the District alternative junior high school. The building was called the Fort Boise Learning Center. In 1999 the name was changed again to Fort Boise Mid High. In 2008 the school was closed and students began attending Frank Church High School.

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McKinley School (1952-2008)


  • 6400 Overland Road

From the late 1940s through the 1950s the population of the bench area grew and McKinley Elementary opened its doors to students in 1952. Throughout the rest of the century many additions and improvements were made to the school facility and playground.

The school closed and was torn down in 2008 as part of a District project to consolidate several elementary schools into new facilities. The building was replaced by Grace Jordan Elementary on the same site.

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Mountain Cove High School (1992-2008)

  • 911 Mountain Cove Road

Mt. Cove

Mountain Cove High School began operations in the 1992-93 school year as the District began to explore the possibility of initiating an alternative secondary school for at-risk students. The school's site had formerly housed occupational classes and G.E.D. programs.

In its first year, 94 students attended Mountain Cove, and the program offerings were limited to core classes. Initially, Mountain Cove was to support students for a fairly short period of time; students were to return to their "home" school after they picked up necessary credits. Over the ensuing years Mountain Cove saw the addition of several classrooms, a library, and a computer lab. Child care facilities were available for students with children, and a state-of-the-art cafeteria facility was added.

By 1998, Mountain Cove's enrollment had grown to over 400. The school held its first prom during 1995, and developed its identity as the Boise District's fifth high school.

The school was closed at the end of the 2007-08 school year. Students now attend Frank Church High School.

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Orchard School (1950-1966)

  • Orchard, Idaho

Orchard was a one room, grade 1-8 school serving the families of this rural community south of Boise. Orchard was a railroad town. In 1950 the Orchard School was annexed to the Boise School District. Students in junior and senior high were bused to Boise secondary schools.

The school operated for sixteen years in the Boise District. It closed at the end of the 1965-66 school year. The town lost population when the railroad changed its operations and close down some of its lines. The last year Orchard School operated it had fourteen students in grades one through six.

Since the school closure in 1966 the old school bell has been lost, as has the date marker showing when Orchard was built.

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Park School (1902-1949)

Park School

The city's growth in the early 1900's dictated that more schools were needed in the Boise District. A new school was built on the then west side of the city (just southwest of the current city center on what is now busy Fairview Avenue). On September 8, 1902, the Board met to name the new school. The school was named City Park School. On May 7, 1903 the Board met again and changed the name to Park School.

A total of twelve classrooms were added to the school in the next ten years. Among the improvements made in the next decade was the addition of a Teacher's Rest Room. The area around Park School grew rapidly after World War II, and traffic caused problems for children walking to school. It was suggested at a Board Meeting in February of 1945 that a site for a new Park School in the Pleasanton addition be set aside.

Park School was closed at the end of the 1948-49 school Year. Principal Harold Nelson was transferred to Whittier School, and the building was put up for sale. The school was torn down in 1950 and the vacant lot put up for sale in 1951. The land was sold in 1952. A new Park School was never built.

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