The construction of R. E. Baker Elementary School started in July of 1950. The building was 170 feet long by 70 feet wide. The cost of the new school was around $78,000.
The exterior design of the building was totally modern for its time. It had windows across the side of each classroom along with an exterior exit door. The school was originally built with eight classrooms, a health room, and an office area. It was built to house first, second, and third grades. Each classroom could hold 45 to 50 students. There were skylights in the roof for uniform lighting in the building
On December 9, 1951, Bentonville held an open house to show off its new grade school. About 1500 people came out to see the new school. The school was named after R.E. Baker at a later time.
The building has changed quite a bit from when it was built until today almost making it difficult to tell it is the same building. Many of the classroom windows have been bricked over, and where there was a door in the classrooms there is now a window. Additional classrooms have been added as well as as gymnasium, cafeteria and library space that connect the school to Old High.
(Photos courtesy J. Dickson Black / Randy McCrory Collection)
Constuction of R. E. Baker in the fall of 1950
This photo shows Albert Anderson raising steel into place at R. E. Baker grade school. Mr. Anderson also owned the local moving company in town. The photo was probably taken in the fall of 1950.