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As we reported earlier, the 96-year-old Oklahoma City Public Schools Administration building at 900 N. Klein is being emptied out.

As movers were working, Free Press got to photograph some seldom seen and unusual spaces in the grand old building.

The target date for completing all moves is June 30.

Administrators are moving to different available spaces in existing school buildings throughout the district, some permanently, others until the former bank building at 615 N. Classen is fitted out for use as the new administration building.

That project is scheduled for completion in 2019.

Deep history

The building started out as Roosevelt Junior High with the cornerstone being laid in 1921.

The “junior high school”, usually grades 7-9, was a concept that was only about 30 years old when Roosevelt was first built.

Before around 1890, schools had been divided between grades 1-8 in elementary and then 9-12 in high school.

But even before districts started adopting the middle school (6-8) concept in the 1970s, the Roosevelt building had been converted to a new use.

Administration building

In 1955 the district sent the children elsewhere and converted the space into the administration building.

The cafeteria was taken out of the fourth floor and a new one was built in the basement for the large number of staff and administrators it took to run the biggest district in the state.

Classrooms were converted into offices, the most dramatic being the superintendent’s office and the working, nonpublic board room adjoining.

By the 1960s OKCPS had about 70,000 students. Now, it is still the largest district in the state, but with over 40,000 students.

For the last decade, the district has worked on different plans to move out of the building because of its crumbling infrastructure, a smaller district requiring a smaller staff, and a different concept of dispersed departments.

Seldom seen

Doug Braxton, Assistant to the Chief of Staff, took Free Press on a tour of some of the spaces in the building the public seldom sees.

Click on the first photo to bring up a slider that will allow you to scroll through larger versions.

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