History

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The Fairbanks was built in 1906 as a public school. It has had several additions since it opened its doors.  The Fairbanks began as a four classroom brick building built with the first addition of another four classrooms and indoor plumbing in 1910. Years later, a cafeteria, gymnasium, two additional classrooms and a library were added. Fairbanks Elementary served Grant Beach Neighborhood area students for 100 years. In 2007 the school closed and attending students were routed to other area schools.  After the school’s closing, the buildings deteriorated and suffered vandalism.  With new ownership in 2013, the buildings are being restored and leased to community betterment initiatives.

Make History at the Fairbanks

Progress

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The importance of preservation of these buildings lie in their namesake, “Fairbanks”. The name Jonathan Fairbanks is well-known in the history of the Springfield Public School System. The successful development of the SPS is due largely to Fairbanks’ untiring efforts and capable administration as superintendent. A man of enlightened views, Jonathan Fairbanks was known to be eminently practical while liberal in his consideration of the various propositions which entered into the scheme of modern education.

Be Part of Our Progress

Future

Programming is targeted to families in poverty, especially those without stable employment and housing. The Fairbanks currently serves as a hub for parent education classes through Missouri State University; quality early childhood education through Life 360 Family Services; school-age childcare through joint programming with Boys and Girls Club; financial education through Community Partnership of the Ozarks; and food access through Springfield Community Gardens and Ozarks Food Harvest. Social enterprise is being made possible through a community kitchen, worm farming, and other agri-business support. Future programs include ORYMCA’s Summer Reading Loss Prevention Program, Circles, and the Jobs for Life program.

Help Shape Our Future

Get informed. Get involved.
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The Northwest Project

Focusing on a Brighter Future for Families

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Community Foundation of the Ozarks

Connecting a Passion to Purpose

the-northwest-project-154x154

The Northwest Project

Focusing on a Brighter Future for Families

imgres

Community Foundation of the Ozarks

Connecting a Passion to Purpose