In the very early 1950s, the old Y&O Grade School burned to the ground. The students who attended the old Y&O Grade School lived in Van, Bigson, Betsy Hollow and Y&O, West Virginia and walked to school. Until the new school could be built adjacent to the athletic field at Van, the students were housed in a local church, and later transferred to the Science Building on the property of Van Jr.-Sr. High School. Around 1953, elementary students began to occupy the new Van Grade School. The school housed grades 1-8 and continued to do so for many years. In the 1960s, the students in schools at Williams Mountain, Gordon, Cazy, and Mooney (Bandytown/Twilight) were consolidated into Van Grade. After these consolidations and with the boom of coal mining, Van Grade began to "burst at the seams" with the student population, and enrollment was close to 450 students. Also in the 1960s, Van became the recipient of the first elementary library/media center in the county. In the early 1970s the school was still crowded and it was not uncommon for a teacher to have over forty students in one room - the same rooms that students occupy today. Also during this period, construction was completed on the new multi-purpose room, which provided the students a place for physical education, assemblies, and cafeteria. Near the end of this decade an addition was built onto the school which housed a kindergarten room and officies. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the seventh and eighth graders were transported to Wharton Junior High until the new Van Jr. - Sr. High School could be completed. Preschool was added to the curriculum in the late 1980s. In the 1990s the school was in the midst of education reform and innovation. In recent years, the school has been recognized at the local, sate, and national level for the quality of programs offered at the school. Van Elementary presently educates approximately 170 students per year. Many changes have been made physically and educationally over the years, but one thing remains constant: The teachers have always committed themselves to excellence in teaching and student learning.