The Board of School Directors purchased 12.801 acres of land on Hulmeville Road at a cost of $44,803.50 for the Benjamin Rush Elementary School. Construction contracts were let on June 20, 1963. Architects were Bellante and Clauss, Philadelphia. Per pupil cost was $1,315.53, with total cost of construction, $887,988. The building has a capacity of 675 students.
Facilities of the school include eighteen standard classrooms, three resource centers, special education room, kindergarten, library, multi-purpose room with stage, cafeteria, serving kitchen, music room, health suite, administrative offices, and faculty lounge. The school was opened in September, 1964. The cornerstone laying took place on November 10, 1964, and the formal dedication on April 23, 1965. The school is named for a famous colonial patriot and physician. Benjamin Rush was noted for his original thinking; he was well read and well trained in his profession. He was an attractive, straightforward teacher, with wide human interests. He was easily the ablest American clinician of his time, and his reputation and writings in medicine and education won him golden opinions abroad. His efforts to improve treatment of the mentally ill were advanced and humane. His work on the staff of the Pennsylvania Hospital aroused his interest in social reform and in 1786, he established the first free dispensary, or clinic, in the United States. Mr. Rush played a commendable part in fighting the Yellow Fever epidemic in 1793, sacrificing his own health by treating l00 to l50 patients a day. Once a resident of Bensalem Township, he was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
RUSSELL C. STRUBLE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
The Bensalem Township School Board on March 12, 1975 officially designated a new elementary school, soon to be constructed, the Russell C. Struble Elementary School. Groundbreaking ceremonies on the 20-acre site at 4300 Bensalem Boulevard took place on June 7, 1975. Construction began in July 1975. The school district financed the building cost with a General Obligation Bond of $3,900,000 at an interest rate of 6.853 for 20 years, 31/2 months. The base construction cost was $2,885,091 or $38 per square foot. The site costs including land, title search, transfers, attorneys fee, and options totaled $396,461.
The educational specifications for this school followed the philosophy of the school district. This philosophy was based upon the premise that the school of today is called upon to play an ever increasing role in the preparation of youth for their place in society. It is the school’s task to encourage students to appreciate their cultural, intellectual, and social heritage, and to preserve it. In this way, students will be more prepared to make a contribution to society and to reap the benefits thereof. The Struble Elementary School is an open educational facility with an emphasis on affective education in skill achievement. The teaching and administrative staff works in conjunction with the home and community, to educate students to appreciate and respect the rights of all racial and ethnic groups, because these factors enable them to live and work with others. With the joint responsibility of the school and community, the school provides for an introduction of concepts, appraisal of attitudes, and the development of student self-discipline. The aim is that each student would be able to move toward his/her potential, and be able to find his most useful and rewarding place in the world.
Young people need to learn how to think logically and to express themselves clearly. In order to effect these abilities, the Struble staff and school district provides students with opportunities to use these tools of learning: to listen, speak, read, write, and observe with understanding. There also is an emphasis on the value of maintaining sound mental and physical health, and wise use of leisure time. The school is designed to provide for a blend of educational activities, including large group instruction, team teaching, small group activities, individualized instruction, independent study, multimedia instruction, and facilities for mentally and physically handicapped children. Grade level assignments are structured to house approximately 850 students in grades one through five plus facilities for kindergarten and special education. The building includes twenty-five instructional areas, an arts and crafts room, general music room, instrumental music practice rooms, library, gymnasium, adaptive physical education room, locker and shower rooms, large group instructional room, multipurpose room, stage area, cafeteria and kitchen facilities, health room, seminar room, and administration office space. Students and teachers moved into the completed facilities in September 1976.
RUSSELL C. STRUBLE, 1907-1974
Russell C. Struble, for whom this elementary school is named, was born on October 4, 1907 in Perkasie, Pa. After attending the Perkasie elementary and secondary schools, he attended Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pa where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and science in 1929. Following his graduation from Muhlenberg, he taught mathematics and science in the Coplay public schools for fourteen years.
He also coached football, basketball, and baseball at Coplay. Mr. Struble attended Penn State University from 1930 to 1933, earning a Master of Arts degree. He was granted a Secondary School Principal’s certificate in June 1951. He began his duties with the Bensalem Township school district in September 1943 as a teacher of high school science and mathematics. For eight years, Mr. Struble exemplified the excellences of a professional teacher. He became principal of Bensalem Senior High School in 1951 and for the next fifteen years his leadership helped to keep the high school in pace with a growing and changing community. He retired on August 31, 1966. Mr. Struble was a total part of the Bensalem community. He was active in the Bucks County Principals Association, Bensalem Rotary club, Bensalem Chamber of Commerce, Cornwells Fire Company, and P.T.A. He was also a history and outdoors enthusiast, holding membership in an historical society and the National Rifle Association. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, tennis, and nature study. Russell Struble died on December 26, 1974, survived by his wife Pearl and a son, Russell C. Struble Jr. The school district expressed the hope that the Russell C. Struble Elementary School would exemplify the community spirit and leadership for youth of the community, as Mr. Struble did in his life.