HISTORY OF EDUCATION IN PASCO COUNTY
Richey Elementary School
This page was last revised on Feb. 25, 2017.
Richey Elementary School replaced Pierce Elementary School in New Port Richey.
On Oct. 17, 1957, the New Port Richey Press reported that the name “Richey Elementary School” was chosen for the new $250,000 school by a vote of the Pierce Elementary School PTA. The name was chosen from among five names. Mrs. Mary Bready of New Port Richey, who was first to submit that name, won a prize offered by the PTA.
Students began attending the new school around November 1957. The first principal was Fred K. Marchman, who had been Principal of Pierce Elementary.
On April 10, 1958, the New Port Richey Press reported that the school would be dedicated on April 19. It also reported:
As soon as new cafeteria equipment arrives and can be installed, the badly needed, new 14-room Richey Elementary school will be completely occupied, it was announced this week by Principal Fred K. Marchman. Built for an occupancy of approximately 435 students, the school is proving too small before it is even completed, since it actually is housing 480 already. Total cost of the modern building, which has been under course of construction for the past eight months, is reported to be $253,000. ... The "campus style" layout was built in six units on property facing Madison Street by Thompson and Sons, Leesburg contractors, about four blocks north of old Pierce Elementary school. Right now, five of the new classrooms are in use, but pupils who don't bring their lunches are hiking the four blocks back to Pierce to eat in the cafeteria. Classes have been moved out of temporary quarters that had been utilized in the First Methodist Church. Once the complete move is made, the old building will be reserved for overflow from the elementary or Gulf high schools.
On May 12, 1970, the St. Petersburg Times reported that the severely overcrowded Richey Elementary School was currently accommodating 100 of its extra pupils at the old Booker T. Washington School building and the others at the First Methodist Church and the former Open Door School.
On Oct. 15, 1970, the St. Petersburg Times reported, “Sixth graders from Richey Elementary School moved into newly remodeled classrooms this week at the old Gulf High School building on Boulevard south. Seven new classrooms and offices for county supervisory personnel were re-modeled for use because of overcrowded conditions at the elementary school. The sixth graders had been attending classes at the First United Methodist Church and in the school library.”
In 1977 the school became Richey Fundamental Elementary School.
In the 1980s, Richey Fundamental School was the only school in the district that did not draw enrollment from geographic boundaries. Vacancies were filled on a first-come, first served basis, and parents waited in line, sometimes for more than 24 hours, to have their children enrolled. In 1988, school officials switched to a random computer selection process.
In 1981 a report presented to the school board found that Richey Fundamental School was the top-ranked elementary school in overall achievement in the county, followed by Anclote and Elfers elementary schools. The report also noted that Richey Fundamental had the fewest pupils participating in a free or reduced-price school lunch program.
At its meeting on May 14, 1991, the school board voted to convert Richey Elementary to a traditional neighborhood school.
On July 26, 2011, the school board approved a contract with Cutler Associates Inc. of Tampa essentially to rebuild the school. Construction began the following day. The project is expected to take about two years. The main entrance to the new school will be on Adams Street, rather than Madison Street. The new Richey Elementary School was designed by the architectural firm of Reynolds, Smith and Hills of Tampa.
On Feb. 22, 2017, Kenneth Miesner, former principal of RES, died at age 50.