Faust Elementary

SAMUEL K FAUST ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 

The Samuel K. Faust Elementary School was built in 1956 on a fifteen acre site facing Bellview Drive in Nottingham. This site was selected by the Bensalem Township School Board because of its location in a rapidly growing section of the township. Ground breaking ceremonies were held on August 16, 1956 and steel delivery began in April 1957. Flag raising exercises took place on February 25, 1958, and cornerstone ceremonies, on April 10, 1958. The school opened its doors on January 20, l958. Approximately one-third of the pupils attending this school live in Nottingham and walk to school.

Faust Elementary

This new elementary school was officially dedicated on May 2, 1958, but its actual beginning goes back many years to the days when Samuel K. Faust was superintendent of schools. At that time, Bensalem Township was largely rural in nature and the demands on the school system in relation to buildings were not too great. Eventually, the school population began to grow. A new high school was built in 1953 and the Cornwells school building was completely renovated for elementary school use in 1954. Soon the Cornwells building was on double sessions and it remained so until the Faust school opened. An enormous amount of time and consultation was required in planning a modern twenty-room elementary school. Robert K. Shafer, superintendent of schools at that time, suggested that classroom teachers contribute their ideas on the planning of an ideal school. These ideals were discussed at staff meetings and sent to the architects, H. F. Everett & Associates, Allentown, PA in the form of recommendations. Not all of these could be adopted, but many were included in the plans. The new school was financed through the Bensalem Township Authority. The base construction cost of the school was $1,348 per pupil, and $18.47 per square foot. The total cost, including the site cost of $22,600 all equipment, architects fees, all base contracts, legal fees, advertising, printing, bonds, and surveys amounted to $940,000.

FAUST SCHOOL ADDITION – The original Samuel K. Faust Elementary School was adequate to house an educational program for children in 1956, but the standards of the 1970’s made it a minimum facility, restricted in function. It contained twenty classrooms, a multi-purpose room that served as a combined auditorium and cafeteria, a health room, and office space. The site purchased in September, 1955, totaling 13.8711 acres, was also minimal and below the usually recommended acreage for elementary schools. As the township population grew and the educational program of instruction evolved and expanded, it became evident that the Faust school facilities must be increased and updated. The goal was to provide a completely integrated elementary program, and to bring the Faust building up to the standards of other elementary schools. Planning was done with the special needs of children in mind. Planning for an addition began as early as 1959. It was not until 1967 that the architectural firm of Bellante and Clauss, Philadelphia, was appointed to design the addition. The original school building which opened its doors in January, 1958, was constructed for a student enrollment of six hundred pupils. Pupil capacity was increased to eight hundred with the completion of the addition. Several classroom facilities were included for mentally retarded and physically handicapped pupils, as well. The Bensalem Township community was invited to an open house program on May 3, 1970 to see the new facilities, which included twelve new classrooms, bringing the total classrooms to thirty; a large cafeteria and adjoining kitchen; an arts and crafts room; a two-station physical education area for both regular classes and for physically handicapped children; a large group instruction area with stage and a seminar room for small group instruction; an audio-visual equipment and material center; a new health suite with examination, dressing, acoustic, and cot rooms; a conference room as an “itinerant room” for use by special service personnel who serve the district on a part time basis; and additional storage and custodial space, expanded mechanical facilities, and a new maintenance area. The cost of the addition was $1,160,00.

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SAMUEL K FAUST, 1890-1940 

The man whose name was given to the new elementary school was born on April 22,1890. His early education was in the Fagleysville school in Montgomery County and in Perkiomen Seminary. He graduated from West Chester State Teachers College and went on to the University of Pennsylvania. His first teaching experience in Limerick Township, Montgomery County, gave him an understanding of pupils in a rural setting, While he taught, he was working his way through Normal School. He married the former Ethel Douglas and was the father of one son, Samuel Kimball Faust Jr. From 1912 until his death on November 24,1940, Mr. Faust was engaged as superintendent or supervising principal in school work in Lower Bucks County, first at Hulmeville, then at Morrisville, South Langhorne, and Bristol Township, which embraced the Harriman district before it became a part of Bristol Borough. Mr. Faust accepted an invitation by the Board of Education of Bensalem Township in July, l923 to take charge of the school district for the express purpose of reorganizing the elementary schools, and organizing the first high school. He was especially suited for this position because he had gained experience in every kind of school from a one-room rural school to a modern high school with many departments. This fact accounts for the rapidity with which a four – year high school was developed in Bensalem Township. His interest in the buildings operations undertaken in the township was great and his keen business sense and untiring zeal lead to the school’s successful completion. Mr. Faust enjoyed the trust and confidence of many friends throughout the school district and was honored by numerous societies and fraternal organizations here. He won the respect of teacher and pupil alike because of his thoroughness, fairness, and adherence to the ideals for which he stood.