History of G.D. Jones

G.D. Jones Elementary

Dedicated: October 21, 1931

Wausau’s G. D. Jones Elementary School, built in 1931 was named in honor of the late Granville Duane Jones, a prominent Wausau lawyer and businessman. He disliked his first and middle name and chose to be addressed by a pair of two initials, G.D. He was a man of contradictions and deep devotion to youth and was given a great deal of credit for the progress in Wausau for the public school system as the area entered the 20th century. G.D. Jones came to represent excellence in education and, for that reason, the school was named in his honor.

The school opened in September 1931 for Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd Grade. In 1932, Grade 3 was added; Grade 4 was added in 1933; and in 1936, Grade 4 & 5 were added. The school at that time also included 7th Grade. During the first six years, only the rooms on the main floor were finished. When the building opened in 1931, the building was heated with slab wood and planks were used for desks. Over the years, the school was renovated and in 1947 was enlarged to the size as pictured above. It served as the District’s Administrative Center on the 2nd floor beginning in 1982 for a number of years.

In the 1990s, the work began to evaluate the need for a new facility. In December 1995, a school bond was passed and construction was underway. The facility you see today is the culmination of all the effort made by a community focused on quality education. The new building was to exemplify the outstanding planning and research that took place before the construction began. The plans incorporated the history of the original G. D. Jones Elementary School. Upon entering the building, the planners chose to provide a bit of nostalgia by displaying memorabilia in showcases, which would celebrate the past, present, and future of education. The heart of the school was to be the Library Media Center, which the committee believed, was a cornerstone for student learning. As such, three stone arches that graced the entrances of the original school found their home along a two-story wall which continues to be a focal point for anyone who enters the library today.