The new school

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:44

    Historian, Town of Monroe Monroe - My previous article covered the old wooden school located at the present site of Frontier Telephone. On February 14, 1907 voters approved an appropriation of $40,000.00 to build a new school. The cornerstone was laid for the new school building on October 25, 1907 and the construction contract was awarded to Gregory and Rose of Central Valley, NY. The school commenced on September 14, 1908. A few years later in 1911 the course of study was expanded from 11 to 12 years, so the new school housed all the grades in this new building. The one-room schoolhouse would continue to be an important part of our school system until the early 1950s when the Oxford Depot and the Walton Lake School would be closed. Three other one-room schools, O'Neil Mine (aka Turkeytown), Sunny Acres, and Quaker Hill had been closed many years earlier. At the end of 1925 it was apparent that the new school was becoming overcrowded and they decided that it was time to put an addition on the building. This was put to the voters on April 8, 1925 who approved an appropriation of $175,000 for the new addition, with a vote of 148 in favor and 127 against. The building was completed and the new section would be occupied by the High School, with occupancy taking place in the fall of 1927. For the next six months all went well, but then on April 11, 1928 a disastrous fire destroyed the old section of the school that housed the grammar school. The new section was saved by the valiant efforts of the Mombasha Fire Co. and neighboring towns and, the use of the steel fire doors inside the new building. The fire itself was attributed as an accident and occurred during Easter vacation. The floors had been oiled which was done during the vacation period, and this added to the acceleration of the fire. The fire was attributed to spontaneous combustion from oily rags left in the closet. The school board moved to order new desks and portioned off rooms to form temporary classrooms to accommodate the children in the grade school. But now they had to move ahead and find a solution for the replacement of the destroyed section. This went to the voters on July 14, 1928 to appropriate of $103,000. from the insurance and an additional $35,000. to be raised by taxes. The vote was 45 for and 15 against. The contract was awarded August 1928 to Elias Neilson Construction Company of Middletown. Construction moved swiftly and the new section was dedicated on October 24, 1929. The Monroe School system continued until June 19, 1951 when voters approved the centralization of the school system with Woodbury to become Monroe-Woodbury, the vote was very close, 595 for and 589 against. On September 4, 1951 classes operated for the first time as a central school. The Monroe North Main School would continue as a grade and high school. The junior high was be moved to Central Valley and was conducted in the Central Valley High School building which is now the administration building. The new high school was built on land donated by Governor Averell Harriman on Route 32 in Central Valley and was opened to classes February 21, 1956 and housed both the high school and the junior high school. And today it serves as the Central Valley Elementary School. The old Monroe High School still serves the system as North Main Elementary School.