Written by Cindy Chapman
While the namesake for Roanoke Elementary School (RES) is obvious, the history behind Roanoke’s first elementary school is a rich one. Over 130 years ago, the Medlin family donated land to build the very first school building in Roanoke. This very land (606 N. Walnut) near downtown Roanoke was later home exclusively to Roanoke Elementary from 1992 to 2010 when RES moved to a new building in the Briarwyck community. After a quick renovation over the summer, students of the new James M. Steele Accelerated High School moved in at 606 N. Walnut. Remnants of the century-old building are still evident as the original stone walls and arch were repurposed to complete the stone wall that surrounds the property today.