Bruce F. Vento Elementary School spent its first 30 years of existence under the name East Consolidated, a name that referred to three 19th century buildings-Grant, Lincoln and Ericsson-which it replaced. East Consolidated's opening in September, 1971 drew great interest in Saint Paul.
Everything about this new "community school" was revolutionary from its "school without walls" design, to its organization of students and staff into non-graded teaching teams. Requests from educators to see the school in operation so swamped the building that visits had to be restricted to one day each week.
ECON became Minnesota's first fully accredited elementary school. Packed with 1,200 students, it buzzed with energy. As 2000 opened, East Consolidated began a large scale makeover. From its new name, Bruce F. Vento-for the highly respected U.S. congressman born in the neighborhood-to the new facade, and on to different educational approaches, things changed. Through all the changes, however, one thing has remained constant-the effort to create within this school an outstanding educational facility serving effectively and efficiently its students and community.