Namesake

Roanoke Elementary School

A historical treasure, Roanoke Elementary School is a link to the community and school district’s rich past and bright future. A school has existed at 606 North Walnut in Roanoke for nearly 130 years, and the location has seen many transformations. Roanoke Elementary School’s most recent move to a new site is a testament to the area’s growth and development.

To help accommodate the growing Roanoke community, Roanoke Elementary School relocated to a new campus in the Briarwyck development, in keeping with Northwest ISD’s belief of community schools. The school closed at its former location in June 2010 and was transformed during a rapid 66-day renovation to once again serve secondary students. It reopened in August 2010 as James M. Steele Accelerated High School, a nontraditional school with a hybrid learning program.

Roanoke Elementary School’s new campus was built on its proud heritage, with an understanding of the special ties to its former site.

The first school building was built in 1881 on property donated by the Medlin families, the original settlers who relocated to the area from Missouri in 1847, at 606 North Walnut. A bond referendum was approved by the small community in 1910 for a $7,000 brick schoolhouse. The two-story building housed elementary students on the first floor and high school students on the second.

In 1935, the Works Progress Administration Laborers, a work program established during the Great Depression as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal legislation, built a high school on the property. The work group also constructed the historic rock wall that still surrounds the site at North Walnut. The new building included the town’s first gymnasium, which brought basketball and volleyball indoors. The second floor of the two-story building became the lunch room.

In 1949, Roanoke joined other area one-school districts to create Northwest ISD. The two-story building built in 1910 was torn down and the high school building was expanded to accommodate elementary students in 1963. While construction on the addition took place, classes were held in local churches and the Masonic Hall.

The campus was closed during the 1983-1984 school year, following the completion of Lakeview Elementary in Trophy Club, and reopened the following year. The old high school building was torn down and a new campus, Roanoke Elementary School’s former home, was built in 1992. Bricks from the old building were distributed to townsfolk and alumni, and the arch facade was incorporated into the historic rock fence. This building was renovated in 2005 and 2010 to now serve the students of James M. Steele Accelerated High School.

The memories and special moments shared by the Northwest community and generations of families at the historical school site will be cherished forever. With a proud history, Northwest ISD treasures Roanoke Elementary School where learning, adventure, and joy are embraced. From years of triumphant victories, great trials, and educational successes, a timeless bond remains and the Roanoke School family will continue to grow.