School History

Banneker Elementary School

Location: 2026 North 4th Street


1970Kealing School stood on ground that Banneker would be built on.

1970 – January 20: Voters approved $24.5 million bond issue for new school construction to be located on the site of the former Kealing School. The site was expanded by acquisition of the entire city block.  (With inflation, the $24.5 million would be $117,481,814.42 in 2003.)

October: Additional property needed for Banneker. Vacant lot, rear of 2062 North 4th Street (East 90 feet of Lot 2, Block 2, Fowler Parker); 414 Parallel (Less North 6′ of West 10′ of Lot 20, Block 2; Less North 6′ of East 22 1/2′ of Lot 21, Fowler Parker; 2055 Thompson (Lot 30, Block 2, Fowler Park); 418 Parallel (Less North 6′ of West 22 1/2′ Lot 21, Less North 6′ Lot 22, Block 2, Fowler Park).

Board of Education announced that students and community could suggest names for new buildings. Robert Terrell, 6th grade teacher at Stowe School, wrote paper suggesting name in honor of Benjamin Banneker, noted American Black mathematician, astronomer and scientist.

Born on November 9, 1731 near Elliott City, Maryland, Banneker was one of America’s greatest intellectuals and scientists. Benjamin Banneker was an essayist, inventor, mathematician, and astronomer. Because of his dark skin and great intellect he was called the “sable genius.” Benjamin Banneker was a self-taught mathematician and astronomer. While still a youth he made a wooden clock which kept accurate time past the date that Banneker died. This clock is believed to be the first clock wholly made in America. In 1791, he served on a project to make a survey for the District of Columbia, helping to design the layout for our Nation’s capital. Deeply interested in natural phenomena, Banneker started publishing an almanac in 1791 and continued its publication until 1802. He published a treatise on bees, did a mathematical study on the cycle of the seventeen-year locust, and became a pamphleteer for the anti-slavery movement. He was internationally known for his accomplishments and became an advisor to President Thomas Jefferson.

1971 – July 7: Contract awarded to Bishop Construction Co., Kansas City, Missouri, for construction of new Benjamin Banneker School (4th and Parallel). Fifth major construction contract awarded as part of bond proposal.

1972 – Building opened. Replaced attendance area for Stowe, Kealing and part of Dunbar.

1998 – Now Banneker Science & Technology Magnet School

2004 – Phase IV of the KCKs Public Schools $120 million bond issue includes:  Banneker, Cemtral, McKinley and Quindaro Elementary Schools, Harmon High School and the Area Technical School (ATS).  Central and McKinley will reopen to student enrollment in the Fall of 2004.  The other buildings, which previously had air conditioning, will receive upgrades to their heating and cooling systems, as well as minimal energy updates on windows and exteriors.  The last buildings to receive upgrades include the Main Branch Library, Central Office and the Shop.