The Hale H. Cook School was named for Hale H. Cook who was born in Michigan in 1857. He came to Kansas City in 1890 where he was a member of the Board of Education from 1905 until 1917. He served as president, vice president and on every Board committee.
Located in the area once known as Westmoreland, the school site was purchased in August 1912. In October, the first double annex was completed and school began immediately. By 1923, more space was needed and a new building with ten classrooms, an auditorium that would seat 600 people, a gymnasium, a cafeteria, a domestic science room and a manual training room was started. Several classrooms were added to the school in the 1930s. The current building was mothballed in 2009 due to district boundary changes.
After a grassroots effort by The Friends of Hale Cook, the district reopened the building in 2014 to serve the families in the southwest part of the city.