Sunrise Community Health Center - 1028 5th Avenue

 Print Listing Historical Name - East Ward School
Style - Schoolhouse/One Room School
Built Year - 1915
State ID - 5WL633

Description - The East Ward School is a Craftsman/Mission hybrid structure consisting of two single-story symmetrical rectilinear sections with hip roofs. Roof features include wood shingles, open eaves, exposed rafter tails, and a curvilinear parapet located on the south façade. A brick chimney is located centrally near the east façade of each section. The exterior walls are blonde brick veneer supported by a concrete foundation. The symmetrical, eleven-bay main (west) façade of each section features a protruding central porch-like entrance flanked by five bays of six-over-one double hung windows on the first floor, with six-light basement-level hoppers aligned below. Bordered by single-story, hip-roofed square towers with semi-circular relieved-brick decorative elements in the upper portions, the entrances feature hip roofs supported by triangular knee-braces. Other character defining features include two additional entrances with shed-roof hoods supported by triangular knee-braces located on the south façade. The unique curvilinear central parapet mentioned above boasts a relieved concrete sign reading "East Ward Schools 1915."

Historical Background - The Sunrise Community Health Center is located in the largest and only remaining school building in the old East Ward Schools complex. The complex once included an 1889 frame structure and a 1913 brick structure on the same block. Both structures have been razed. The remaining school building was built in 1915-19 to accommodate a significant increase in Greeley's population. It ceased operating as a school in 1953. In 1929, the Greeley Public Schools implemented the Platoon System, a Progressive Era educational reform program associated with the philosophy of John Dewey. In the Platoon System, instructors taught a single subject, and children moved from teach to teacher in groups, or "platoons." Six years earlier, Colorado Springs initiated a similar program. A 1938 booklet published by the Greeley Public Schools titled, "Your Children at School," stresses the goal of teaching students to "think for themselves and thus become increasingly more self-directing." This goal corresponds with Dewey's ides, summarized in Ryan and Cooper's Those Who Can, Teach, that the "value of knowledge resides in its ability to solve human problems." In the Greeley schools, this type of development was encouraged through practical and hand's-on activities based on Dewey's methodology. Greeley's Platoon System, as practiced in the East Ward School, represents an early example of a national Dewey-centered educational reform trend popular from the 1920's through the 1940's.