Cool for school
A historic building gets a colorful update and a creative new life.
Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences is now at the former Roosevelt Elementary School.
As the former Roosevelt Elementary building enters its 90th year, it also is welcoming new occupants.
The three-story redbrick, art deco building, just northwest of downtown Tulsa, recently became home to the Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences (TSAS), a public charter school educating students in grades 7 and 9-12. Grade 8 will be added next school year.
The site was originally home to the Tulsa Vitrified Brick and Tile Co., according to the Beryl Ford Collection/Rotary Club of Tulsa. The plant supplied many bricks used in the city’s original street paving.
The move to Roosevelt, at 1202 W. Easton St., is its third in five years for TSAS, which began in 2001 in an office building at East 51st Street and South Yale Avenue with four teachers. In 2012, TSAS thought it had found a permanent home at the former Barnard Elementary. Three weeks after school started, the structure was destroyed by fire. It then spent four years in the former Sequoyah Elementary until moving to the Roosevelt building this past summer.
Eric Doss, executive director of TSAS, says the move to the new site required painting, updating a kitchen and cafeteria, converting a gym to a band room and a downstairs locker room to a photography lab, and adding three science labs.
Additionally, there was significant infrastructure improvement to the approximately 100,000-square-foot facility.
“We added Wi-Fi throughout the building and upgraded all the electrical work,” Doss says.
Doss also noted that bold, bright colors and accents were used in many places in the building.
“As you walk in and look upstairs, you’ll see the brightest green you’ve ever seen,” he says. “Our cafeteria is a bright blue that looks great.”
Faculty, parents and, most importantly, students have been “pleasantly surprised” with all the improvements. Doss told of one parent who had previously worked in the building remarking, “I can’t believe this is the same building” the first time she visited after the renovations.
Another positive element for the 375 students is the school’s location inside Owen Park, which is Tulsa’s first public park. Opened in 1910, the park has a lake, a rustic stone bridge, tennis courts, playgrounds, plenty of mature trees and Tulsa’s oldest surviving house.