The History of Upper Arlington Schools
In August 1918, The Franklin County Board of Education approved a petition from the residents of the Village of Upper Arlington to recognize Upper Arlington as a new school district. At that time the village was bounded by what is now Lane Avenue, Riverside Drive, Fifth Avenue, and North Star Road.
A school board was appointed by the county superintendent of schools and John W. Wuichet Sr. was named president. One of the first actions for the new school officials was to authorize the construction of a four-room temporary school. It was built at the corner of Arlington Avenue and Tremont Road from parts of barracks left behind from Camp Willis.
52 students enrolled in the school, which taught first through ninth grades.
King and Ben Thompson, the forward-thinking brothers behind the development of Upper Arlington, were committed to education. In 1917, prior to the construction of the frame schoolhouse, King Thompson's basement at 1930 Cambridge Boulevard was being used as a school for more than a dozen children in first through third grade. (Children in upper grades attended Grandview Heights.)
It was the Thompson brothers through their company, the Upper Arlington Company, who put up the funds necessary to build the temporary school for all the children in the village. The school was completed and opened for class in October 1918.
The Board of Education named its secretary-treasurer, Evan L. Mahaffey, as the first superintendent of the school district.
The financial burden of running a school district not fulfilled by local taxes during that school year was assumed by the Upper Arlington Company.
The generosity of King and Ben Thompson continued. The men were instrumental in establishing the Waltham Road School, which replaced the temporary school in 1919.