In the early 1900s, Crawfordsville was growing and more students were coming from the southern and eastern parts of the city. Additionally, students were staying in school as more and more Hoosiers were stressing the importance of an education. As a result of the growing school population, six and a half acres of property was purchased. On November 7, 1906, the first classes were held in Crawfordsville’s newest school, Tuttle Grade School, named after Dr. Joseph Farrand Tuttle, the third President of Wabash College.
The original school increasingly became too small and outdated for the growing population of Crawfordsville. It remained in use as a grade school but was demolished in December of 1959. Plans for a new school were drawn and construction commenced. The current school was built on the same location and opened its doors in 1960 for the beginning of the school year. The new Tuttle Junior High School accommodated students in grades 7-8-9.
A new school also brought many other new items like books for the library, machinery for industrial arts and home economics, and a new ventilation system. Something taken for granted today, a ventilation system was very important to the operation of the new school. The principal of the new school, Don Golliher, was even quoted as saying, “(the building) ...has a good ventilation system… everybody will be breathing fresh air all the time.” It also meant many firsts like instruction in brand new classrooms and convocations in the brand new gymnasium.
J.F. Tuttle Junior High School
1986 to the Summer of 2014
The Junior High School served grades 7-8-9 until the fall of 1986 when the school was restructured as a middle school to house grades 6-7-8. The school underwent many renovations and updates in the summers of 2000 and 2001. Tuttle Middle School served approximately 600 students from within the Crawfordsville city limits. Although the building has gone through many changes and the staff and student population has changed over the years, one goal remained the same: to educate young people so that they may become responsible and productive citizens.
J.F. Tuttle Middle School
The New Crawfordsville Middle School
The new Crawfordsville Middle School broke ground in the spring of 2013 with an anticipated finish date in the summer of 2015. The building project included two phases. Phase one was the construction of the academic wing where Tuttle’s old athletic field was located. It was completed in the summer of 2014, and CMS students and staff enjoyed its use during the 2014-15 school year. When completed, Phase Two will consist of a new LGI (Large Group Instruction) room that connects to the cafeteria, office area, main gym, auxiliary gym, band and choir rooms, fitness room and wrestling room. The total square footage of the new CMS will almost double that of the old Tuttle Middle School.
The building may be different and even have a new address, but the new CMS will still encompass the same high standards and goals. Crawfordsville Middle School’s mission is to empower and inspire all students to apply knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to become creative problem solvers, to achieve personal success, and to contribute responsibly to our community.
Cline, Pat. Crawfordsville: A Pictorial History. St. Louis, Mo: G. Bradley Publishing, INC., 1991.
Journal and Review. 1960.