The Ilion Central School District had its origins in 1805 in Ilion, NY. At that time, one teacher taught the students who attended a small, one-story, wooden building. The building was located where the former Marine Midland Bank once was located. The first official title, for the district, was District No. 1, Town of German Flats. For 208 years, the Ilion Central School District was presided over by many dedicated and talented individuals: Board of Education members, Principal/Superintendents, Superintendents and Building Principals.
In 1850, a two story stone building, referred to as the "old stone building," was erected on what was then the Devoe tract on Morgan Street. In 1865, a three-story building was added at the Morgan Street site. It was erected at a cost of $23,000. The new building was referred to as "the most imposing school house in the valley." A Regents charter was obtained, in 1872, and a class of six girls graduated in 1873.
The West Hill Elementary School was built in 1897 and originally only had six rooms. An addition of fourteen rooms and a gymnasium was completed in 1925.
In 1906, the North Street Elementary School was erected and it too only had six rooms. In 1916, fourteen rooms were added to the school. An auditorium and a gymnasium were built in 1927.
The East Frankfort Primary School opened its doors on March 24, 1908. The staff of five teachers instructed 320 students. The school was located on McGowan Road in the area west of the village which was known as Shulltown. The Ilion Board of Education did not manage the school until 1954 when the East Frankfort School District merged with Ilion to form the Ilion Central School District. Because of the centralization, some West Hill School students were transferred to the East Frankfort School.
In July of 1921, residents approved a proposal to purchase land on Elm Street, known as Hunts Field, as a possible site for a new elementary school. They also approved the purchase of land adjacent to the West Hill School for expansion in the future.
Residents overwhelmingly defeated a major building proposal in February 1923. The proposal called for a new elementary school at Hunts Field, along with additions to West Hill School and the High School. By May 1, 1923, the School Board presented an revised building plan, that eliminated construction of a school at Hunts Field, but still allowed for the expansion of the High School and West Hill School. The plan also called for the abandonment of The Morgan Street School due to its "unsanitary and unsafe condition". The proposal was again defeated. The Superintendent resigned on May 1, 1923 and the entire Board of Education resigned, on May 1, the same evening of the defeat of the proposal.
Another revised building proposal was also defeated in March 1924. Finally, in October 1924, a building proposal for the high school was approved by voters. The district residents also approved the building proposal for West Hill School in a special election held December 1924.
Another primary school, The Old Forge Road School, was located on Old Forge Road on the Southern end of the village. This school operated until the 1940s. The school was administered by the Board of Education Members of The Old Forge School District No. 7, which was also known as the South Ilion District. By 1948, the district was annexed to the Ilion School System, and the Ilion School Board presented a proposal to sell the Old Forge Road School building.
The School of Annunciation, which was the Annunciation Parish Catholic elementary school and not managed by the Ilion Central School District, was built in 1925. The Annunciation school building has remained the same with no additions. The school building has nine classrooms, a library, kitchen and an auditorium/gym. The elementary school was closed in the 1980s and now is used primarily as a parish center. The majority of Annunciation former students and graduates later continued their education in the Ilion public school system.
The Mohawk Central School District temporarily leased the Annunciation Elementary school in order to house fifth and sixth grade classes. The Mohawk students were transported to Annunciation School, from the Fall of 1995 through the Spring of 1997. The temporary relocation of the 5th and 6th graders was necessitated due to the 1995 devastating fire that occurred at the Mohawk High School.
In 1925, The Alumni Association published "Memoirs of the Ilion Union School". The publication contained a detailed history of the Ilion School District. The memoir also contained an article detailing the history of the Alumni Association.
In 1914, the original three-story unit of the high school was constructed. Miss Loretta Douglas was the first principal of the new high school.
In 1926, the three-story north and south wings were constructed and opened for the Junior High School. The new gymnasium (later known as the girls' gym and later the library/media center) was ready for use by 1928.
In 1927, the Morgan Street School property was sold to the village of Ilion for $20,000. The school was razed and the property is now the site of the Municipal Building.
On April 29, 1933, the school district obtained, from the Ilion Cemetery Association, land to use for the athletic field and tennis courts. The new field and courts were located behind the High School building.
Two propositions to buy property adjacent to the south side of the high school were presented to the voters. The first parcel was for land immediately to the East of the high school. The second proposition was to buy the land South of the high school to Philip Street.
In 1951, the gym was enlarged, and a new south wing, known as the D Wing, was constructed. The wing was two stories high and consisted of ten classrooms. The need for the new wing was to provide room for a steadily growing "small fry elementary school."
The Ilion Board of Education, in December 1954, appointed Myron Jordan, Richfield Springs, as architect for a new large wing, with a gymnasium, a cafeteria, technology rooms and a complete grade school, known as Weber Avenue Elementary School. The addition was finished in 1957.
A tragic fire, in April 1963, burned many of the classrooms of the school sections that were built in 1914 and 1925. The destroyed areas were replaced by a two-story structure that was completed in January 1966. Today, this facility houses the largest, secondary school student body, in Herkimer County and the building was named, The Central Valley Academy. It houses the high school for the Central Valley Central School District.
Dr. Charles (C.J.) Diss, Class of 1897, left an endowment earmarked for athletics/recreation. The Diss Memorial Athletic Complex was built, on the school grounds and dedicated in 1980.
A new elementary school, for approximately 600 students, on Barringer Road was completed in January 1967. The building accommodated those students displaced, because of the 1963 fire, from the Weber Avenue Elementary School.
To replace the older elementary schools, East Frankfort, West Hill and North Street schools, the district built the Remington Elementary School in 1977. The district sold the older, elementary school, buildings.
On October 21, 1994, Mohawk Central School District's, Gregory B. Jarvis High School was destroyed by fire. The Ilion School District, having also endured a similar tragedy thirty years earlier, offered the use of the Ilion facilities. Both communities held town meetings to discuss the details of the arrangement. The solution was for both districts to use the Ilion Junior/Senior High School campus, with Ilion students attending classes during morning sessions, beginning one hour earlier than normal. The Mohawk students attended classes at the Ilion High School, beginning at 1:30 pm. This schedule was utilized for the 1994/95 school year, until the Mohawk students could return to classes in their home district.
In response to changes in education, including universal pre-kindergarten and higher standards for math, science and technology, the Ilion School District voters, approved a Building Proposal, by an overwhelming majority vote, in May 1999. The New York State Education Department approved the Ilion Central School District's $32 million building project in 2000. The district selected James Jordan of James Jordan Associates as the architectural firm for the projects. The majority of the work began in April 2001. Additions and renovations were completed, by December 2002, at all three school buildings, Barringer Road Elementary, Remington Elementary and Ilion High School. The high school was expanded with a sixteen classroom addition for Science and Math and a 900 seat gymnasium with an elevated track. Renovations areas included Art, Music and Technology, Media Center and Guidance and Career Center. The new addition also contained a 100 Seat Group Instruction/Meeting room, Wrestling Rooms and a Fitness Center. Lights were also added to the High School Track and Football fields. The Remington School renovations included the Media Center, two classroom additions, parking changes and a new Soccer/Field Hockey facility. The Barringer Road School renovations included the Media Center, four classroom additions, and parking changes. The Remington School renovations included the Media Center, two classroom additions, parking changes and a new Soccer/Field Hockey facility. At that time, Ilion's school district served 1,930 students and had the largest enrollment for any Herkimer County district.
On Tuesday, February 12, 2013, Ilion and Mohawk voters approved a proposed two-district merger. Following were the results by district:
Residents also voted on two additional referendums, one establishing the make-up of the new board of education, at seven members, and a second referendum establishing board members' terms of office at three years. The first election for the newly merged District Board of Education was held on Wednesday, March 27, 2013. The start date for the new district was set for July 1, 2013.
The origin of the Ilion High School dates back to August 7, 1862. It was over 150 years ago that an academic department was established under the supervision of the Regents of the State. The school received its charter in 1872, and the first high school class to gradauate, with diplomas, was the Class of 1873. The last class to graduate from the Ilion Central School District was the Class of 2013. The Ilion and Mohawk Central School Districts merged and officially became the Central Valley Central School District on July 1, 2013.