Board Approves Name for Elementary #8
Elementary #8 finally has a name. At the June 9 Board of Education meeting the name Grant Ragan Elementary School was approved in a unanimous vote (Susan Bunz was not in attendance).
For the last several months board members have been considering several different names searching for something that represented Waukee’s history.
So why Grant Ragan? The name is derived from two men who some consider to be the “founding fathers” of Waukee. General Lewis Addison Grant and Major William Ragan bought the land that would become Waukee on April 30, 1869.
“We’ve talked a lot about naming the school after these two individuals, but it is also about honoring our heritage and railroading community,” Mary Scheve, Board Vice President, said.
The land was located around the railroad bed in Walnut Township, section 33. By summer the roadbed was laid and the men were laying the rails.
It was reported in the Daily Register: “The proprietors named it Shirley in the first place, but the “powers that be” in the railroad office down in Keokuk insisted that it should have an Indian appellation, and hence Waukee it had to be. What Waukee means, we don’t know. For that, you must ask Gen. Reid.”
Although the name Grant and Ragan first gave the town didn’t stick, they still had faith Waukee would become a big town. While neither of them lived in the town, they invested in real estate and were instrumental in starting the town’s growth.
Grant Ragan Elementary School will be located at the intersection of Dartmoor and Douglas Parkway in the city of Waukee. A special election was held on February 4, 2014 for the sale of $18.9 million in general obligation bonds to fund construction and passed with an unprecedented 92.6% approval. The project is scheduled for a completion date of June 2016.
There are currently 12 school buildings operating in Waukee including seven elementary schools: Brookview, Eason, Maple Grove, Shuler, Walnut Hills, Waukee Elementary and Woodland Hills; one fifth grade building: Vince Meyer Learning Center; two middle schools: Waukee Middle School and South Middle School; one ninth grade building: Prairieview School; and one high school: Waukee High School.