About UPP

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The University Place School District began in 1895 when the orginal boundaries were approved by the Pierce County Commissioners. A rental, two-room house on 27th and Crystal Springs Road was the orginal location for class in 1894. In 1896 the district received land from Mr. F.A. Elder at 27th and Elwood. A one-room frame building was built at this site and named Lemon's Beach School after Mr. John J. Lemon. In 1884 he was one of the first residents in the area. By 1911 a second room was added and a second teacher was hired.


In 1916 a new four-room brick school named University Place School was built on a 5 acre tract at 27th and Grandview for under $10,000. The old Lemon's Beach School was used as a gym. As the district population grew, more new classrooms were added and teachers were hired. In 1916 there were 3 teachers, in 1922 a fourth teacher was hired. By 1923 two new classrooms, a gym, and an auditorium were built.


In 1927 Mr. George Curtis became the principal along with a staff of 5 teachers. The staff size remained through 1940. By 1941 there were 7 teachers and principal Curtis. Conditions were very crowded 1946, classrooms contained 40-44 students. More construction added rooms in 1951 and 1953 for a total of 25 classrooms. 


Until 1957 students would graduate from University Place School in 8th grade and take a bus to either Lincoln High School, Stadium High School, or Clover Park High School depending on the year. The 1916 UP School building and four classroom additions were condemned in 1977. In 1978 a new University Place Elementary was opened. This is the building that was razed in July of 2008.


The new University Place Primary School opened in September of 2008. It houses students from preschool through 4th grade. This new school is two stories high with an elevator and two stairwells. Classrooms facing the north and the library have a breathtaking view of the two Narrows bridges and the Olympic Mountains on a clear day.