Ask NOW: Elmbrook has storied history of closing schools

March 23, 2011

Is there a rumor you've heard you would like to track down? Is there something in the community that needs to get fixed? Mary Malahy answers some of the mysteries of life in the Elmbrook area.

Elmbrook has long history of closing schools

Issue: Recent talk of closing a school in the Elmbrook School District reminded a resident of past closures in the district. He is curious to know the history of Elmbrook School District closures.

Status: Melinda Mueller, communications manager for Elmbrook, provided me with a list of past school closings.

School closings began in June of 1973 with Cottage Elementary and Woodside Elementary schools. A countywide special education program occupied Cottage Elementary from August of 1973 until 1976. Then the building was leased for retail use until it was sold to Fladd Development in 1984. Fladd Development razed the building. Woodside Elementary was vacant until it was sold in 1976.

Leland Elementary School closed in 1976 and was used for the special education program and as an instructional resource center. The Elm Grove Women's Club bought part of the property in 1983 and Woodfield Hills bought the rest.

Fairview North closed in 1980 and was used by the special education program until 1982. Starting in 1982, the district used the building for storage and allowed the community to use it until it was sold in 1986. Fairview South, then an elementary school, closed in 1984 and the students were assigned to Burleigh Elementary School. Fairview South was repurposed to serve special education students.

Dixon Elementary and Wisconsin Hills closed in 1982. Dixon Elementary was used as the Central Administrative Office until 1988 when the school reopened as a kindergarten through fifth-grade elementary school. Wisconsin Hills students were assigned to Pilgrim Park Middle School and the building was used for the special education program until 1984 when the school reopened for grades K-6. In 1997 the school changed to a middle school for sixth through eighth grades.

Linfield Elementary closed in 1984, and the students were reassigned to Wisconsin Hills Elementary School. The building was available for community use and district storage from 1984 to 1989. Then Heritage Christian School leased the building from 1989 to 1999, when it bought the building.

Swanson Elementary School and Brookside Elementary also closed in 1984. Swanson Elementary was leased for retail sales and private school use until 1996. The school reopened in 1997 for students in grades K-5 who attended Wisconsin Hills Elementary School. The Central Administrative Offices moved to the Brookside Elementary building in 1988.

Want us to track down a rumor? Fix a problem? Send an e-mail to or visit to post a question or see some answers.


Local Crime Map



Latest Photo Galleries