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Spatial Distribution and Characteristics of the Eau Claire Public Schools. By Jessica Stodola. Introduction.

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Presentation Transcript
  • As the bell rings to signal the end of the day, children come running out of the school, screaming and laughing, glad that school is over and happy to hurry home. Many schools are scattered across the city Eau Claire, but why are these schools located where they are and what factors influence enrollment at these schools?
  • Many factors influence the placement of public schools throughout a city. These factors include the time period in which they are built, population density, and the number of school aged children.
  • Through data analysis, the specific characteristics will be examined to show how they influence the placement of schools.
  • Characteristics considered:
    • Spatial distribution of the public schools.
    • The year the school building was constructed.
    • Physical characteristics of the public schools to discern age of a building.
    • Population density by census tract.
    • Number of school age children per tract.
    • Enrollment count comparison by region.
spatial distribution and age of eau claire public schools
Spatial Distribution and Age of Eau Claire Public Schools
  • The spatial distribution of the public schools by year shows the expansion of Eau Claire.
  • The core (downtown) is seen by the concentration of schools from 1864 – 1939.
  • 13 schools were built from 1940 – 1979, most of which were built in the 1950s.
  • Many schools were decommissioned in the 1970s to make way for updated, larger schools to accommodate the growing population.
schools built in the 19 th century
Schools Built in the 19th Century

Schools built in the 19th century share many characteristics:

  • Dark colored brick.
  • Cut stone accenting.
  • Central, inset doorways.
  • Accenting around windows.
  • Tall, skinny windows.

Bartlett and Boyd

  • Plain in design
  • Flat roofs


  • Hipped roof
  • Tower
  • Dormers
  • Rounded doorway
  • Cut stone basement

Bartlett Elementary, 1864

Randall Elementary, 1887

(No Picture Available)

Barstow Elementary,1893

Boyd Elementary, 1884

Bartlett and Boyd are both located downtown, while Randall was located by Carson Park. By the design of the buildings, it is evident which area had a higher average income.

As these buildings were decommissioned they were put to other uses. Boyd Elementary is now a part of Stella Blues restaurant and Bartlett Elementary is now rental units.

schools built in the 1900s 1930s
Schools Built in the 1900s – 1930s

(No Picture Available)

Mt Washington

Built 1900

  • The schools built in the 1910s and 1920s exhibit very similar characteristics not seen in other decades.
  • Characteristics of all schools
  • Two stories.
  • Cut stone accenting around doors, windows, and between floors.
  • Emphasis on the entrance to schools by centered doors that are set outward from the rest of the building.
  • Tall, skinny windows.
  • Staircases leading up to the front entrance.
  • Lincoln
  • No towers.
  • Square doorway.
  • Park Elementary
  • No tower, one story appearance
  • Long, skinny windows
  • Square, inset doorway
  • Longfellow Elementary
  • No towers.
  • Rounding above the doorway.
  • Boyd Elementary and Central High School
  • Towers that extending above the top floor.
  • Rounding above the doorway.
  • Central and Boyd are both located on the top of Main St. It would be reasonable to assume that this neighborhood had a higher average income than that of Lincoln and Longfellow due to the more ornate style of the buildings. The square shape of the doorway of Lincoln sets it apart from the schools built in the 1920s.

Lincoln Elementary, 1912

Boyd Elementary, 1920

Park Elementary, 1916

(Year obtained from

Central High School, 1925

Longfellow Elementary, 1920

schools built in the 1940s 1950s
Schools Built in the 1940s – 1950s

Black Elementary, 1955

(Crestview Academy)

McKinley Elementary, 1955

Sam Davey Elementary, 1948

  • The schools built in the 1940s are still commonly built with a second story and have a central positioned door that is set outward from the rest of the building. The building shows a long, linear structure.
  • Characteristics of the 1950s
  • Longer linear layout
  • Lighter colored brick
  • One story (very similar to the ranch style houses of the decade.)
  • Ceiling heights also drop from 12 feet to 10 feet.
  • Lack of ornate characteristics more present in the 1910s and 1920s.
  • Diminished focus on the entrance to the schools
  • Doors inset from the rest of the building
  • Interestingly, there aren’t any clear characteristics that stand out to determine the wealth of the area. However, Sam Davey Elementary does have a more ornate design closely related to the 1920s with central door that is set out further than the rest of building.

Robbins Elementary, 1956

Sherman Elementary, 1952

Putnam Heights, 1957

Roosevelt Elementary, 1954

Locust Lane Elementary, 1955

Lowes Creek Elementary, 1955

Memorial High, 1957

schools built in the 1960s 1970s
Schools Built in the 1960s – 1970s
  • The schools built in the 1960s and the 1970s are constructed very similarly.
  • Characteristics in common
  • Brown brick
  • Linear layout
  • Large tinted windows
  • Main entrances facing away from the road
  • North and Manz
  • Door emphasized
  • Name in large lettering above door
  • Delong
  • Entrance hidden in the corner
  • Name of school in small lettering , obscured by trees
  • The buildings are constructed with the same linear elongation and use of the brownish colored brick.
  • Interesting fact: The main entrance to North High Schools faces north.

North High School, 1962

Manz Elementary, 1965

Delong Middle School, 1975

schools built in the 1980s 2000s
Schools Built in the 1980s – 2000s

South Middle School, 1982

Flynn Elementary, 2002

  • The schools built from 1982 – 2002 were built in the weathlier northern and southern suburban neighborhoods.
  • Characteristics of the 1990s
  • Flat roof
  • Long, linear layout
  • Short windows
  • Characteristics of the 2000s
  • Flat roof
  • Two floors
  • Two-tone brick work
  • Short, boxy windows
  • The schools built in the 1990s are built with a dark red brick with the exception of Northstar Middle School.
  • Interesting fact: The main entrance to South Middle School faces south. Why does Memorial High School face west?

Meadowview Elementary, 1990

Northstar Middle School, 1994

Northwoods Elementary, 1994

spatial distribution of public schools and population density 2007
Spatial Distribution of Public Schools and Population Density 2007
  • Through mapping the population density of the Eau Claire census tracts and the spatial distribution of public schools a pattern emerges.
  • As the population density decreases the schools become more dispersed. The core of the city is the most heavily populated and therefore has a higher concentration of schools, but these schools were built in the 19th century and are no longer open.
  • As distance from the downtown area increases the population density decreases. Many of the newer schools are located in the medium populated areas of Eau Claire.
number of school aged children per tract 2007
Number of School Aged Children per Tract - 2007
  • The number of school age children in an area greatly influences the size and number of schools in that area.
  • Schools built from 1948 and newer are built in tracts that have a higher number of children.
  • In comparison to population density, the concentration of school aged children is opposite the population density in each tract.
school locations by region
School Locations by Region

The schools are broken up into regions by concentra-tion. The east and west regions are separated by the Chippewa River.

enrollment comparisons of the eau claire elementary schools 1968 2011
Enrollment Comparisons of the Eau Claire Elementary Schools 1968 - 2011

Comparison of the elementary schools of the northern and southern regions shows a pattern of decrease in enrollment from the northern schools and an increase in southern schools.

  • Northern Region
  • Locust Lane shows a spike in enrollment in 1968, which is followed by a decrease in enrollment as Sam Davey experiences an increase in enrollment. Again, in 2002, Sam Davey’s enrollment increases while Locust Lane’s decreases.
  • McKinley and Black show a relatively stable enrollment until decommission in the early 1990s. These schools maintained low enrollment due to their location on the edge of town where population density was low. The year after their decommission, Northwoods Elementary was opened at which point many of the schools had similar enrollment numbers.
  • Southern Region
  • Robbins, Putnam Heights, and Manz Elementary have experienced a constant increase in enrollment. From 1991 to 1992there was a slight decrease as Meadowview opened.
  • Little Red and Lowes Creek have had slowly declining enrollment. These schools are located on the very outskirts of town where population density is very low.
  • Many of the schools have held approximately the same enrollment numbers since 1995. The schools closer to the center of town have seen a slow increase, while the schools on the edge of town have seen a decrease.
enrollment comparisons of the eau claire elementary schools 1968 20111
Enrollment Comparisons of the Eau Claire Elementary Schools 1968 - 2011
  • Western Region
  • The west side of the downtown area of Eau Claire shows an overall steady enrollment.
  • Roosevelt saw a spike in enrollment in 1974, while Lincoln, Randall, and Mt Washington enrollments decreased significantly. These schools also lie in tracts with low numbers of school aged children.
  • Sherman, Lakeshore, and Montessori enrollments have been on the rise since 2000.
  • Eastern Region
  • The east side of the downtown area of Eau Claire has been experiencing a continuous decrease in enrollment that has led to the closing of four out of five of its schools.
  • Barstow and Bartlett were located downtown on Madison St. Both of these schools were decommissioned in the early 1970s to make way for larger, updated schools.
  • Boyd maintained stable enrollment until its closing in 2002 when it was turned into condominiums.
  • Longfellow, the only remaining elementary school located in the eastern region, has been experiencing a constant decrease in enrollment numbers.
enrollment comparisons of the eau claire middle and high schools 1968 2011
Enrollment Comparisons of the Eau Claire Middle and High Schools 1968 - 2011
  • Eau Claire Middle Schools
  • In the early 1970s, as Central’s enrollment increased, there was an equal decrease in enrollment totals for Delong.
  • Since 1972 there has been a slow decline in the number of students enrolled in the Eau Claire public middle schools.
  • The most prominent feature about the middle scatterplot is the leveling off of enrollments over the last decade.
  • Eau Claire High Schools
  • In 1971 there was an enrollment shift from North to Memorial.
  • From 1974 and on the enrollment numbers for both schools are very similar, with Memorial having a slightly higher enrollment than North.
student enrollment totals
Student Enrollment Totals
  • Overall the trend of enrollment numbers through the Eau Claire elementary schools can be seen in the graph to the right. The number of students enrolled in elementary schools has fluctuated over 43 years, showing a pattern every 20 years.
  • The trend seen in Eau Claire middle schools follows closely with the elementary schools, even though the pattern isn’t as easily discernible.
  • The Eau Claire high schools show a slightly different trend than the elementary and middle schools. Student enrollments vary little from 1968 until 1990 when the enrollment numbers steadily increased until 2000.
  • Many factors must are considered when determining where and why schools are spatially dispersed.
    • Population density.
      • Low and high population density areas have fewer schools. The suburban areas with a medium population density are locations where schools are more likely found.
    • Year schools are constructed.
      • Older parts of the city show a higher density of schools. As the city grows and the population disperses, so do the schools.
    • Number of school age children.
      • Areas with higher numbers of school aged children will have a higher density of schools.
  • Eau Claire Board of Education. 500 Main Street, Eau Claire, WI. 1 June 2012.
  • 3 June 2012.
  • ESRI 2012. ArcGIS Desktop. Release 10. Redlands, CA: Environmental Systems Research Institute.
  • 2012. Unigo LLC. 4 June 2012.
  • Eau Claire Area School District. 2009. Eau Claire School District. 28 May 2012.