The end is near for one of Green’s oldst schools. It was announced at the Feb. 28 school board meeting that Kleckner Elementary School would close after this school year.

The end is near for one of Green’s oldst schools. It was announced at the Feb. 28 school board meeting that Kleckner Elementary School would close after this school year.

The school is costing the district 483,807 dollars to operate plus the school is in need of a new roof which would cost the district 500,000 dollars. The school may be old and need repairs, but there is plenty of history behind the building.

It all began in 1903 when a new school was built on Greensburg Road. When the school first opened it had eight classrooms and could accommodate students in grades 1-8. In 1913 the first addition was added to the school to help keep up with growing enrollment. Then in 1927 and 1939 two more additions were added to the building to make room to house grades 1-12. Also included with this addition was the installation of indoor plumbing for the building.

On the morning of Wednesday, September 11, 1945 a fire struck the school causing damage to the older part of the school. Second grade teacher Agnes Chambers reported seeing smoke coming up through the floor boards in her classroom. Chambers lined up her students and went across the hall to tell third grade teacher Fern Boettler of the fire. The teachers proceeded to remove their students from the building just as the recess bell rang. The recess bell sent students and teachers heading for the exit just as the fire began to build.

The Green Township Volunteer Fire Department arrived at the fire, but it was too late. The lack of available water on the truck caused the fire to do a lot of damage to the building. The damage was estimated at 35,000 dollars. A 1945 Akron Beacon Journal article reported high school students carried out supplies from the new part of the school as the firemen battled the fire in the older section of the school. The fire destroyed the parts of the school that were built in 1903 and 1913 causing them to be demolished.

In 1947 another section of the school was constructed and attached to the existing portion that was built in 1927 and 1939 which was not damaged by the fire. With the two sections being built at different times, the third  floors in the current Kleckner do not connect.

The building remained named Greensburg School until 1957 when the new Green High School (current school known as Green Intermediate School) was built. The new building meant that grades 7-12 would move into the new building on Steese Road. This move meant Greensburg School would house grades 1-6 and be known as Greensburg Elementary School.

John Russell Kleckner a 1930 graduate of Greensburg School would become a very well known person as a school would be named after him. Mr. Kleckner was a teacher, coach, and a principal for many years at Greensburg High School. In all Mr. Kleckner had 43 years of service in the Green community. On March 16, 1981 a vote was taken by the Green School Board to change the name of Greensburg Elementary to John R. Kleckner Elementary School. The vote was unanimous and the school would change names.

Kleckner Elementary School still stands today on the corner of Thursby and Greensburg Roads and is home to about 600 third and fourth grade students. The school also has 70 staff members that work in the building each day. This may be the final year that Kleckner operates, but the memories of the school will live on forever.