Development of the Ilion Central School System
Published in "Memoirs of the Ilion Union School" - 1925
Just a little wooden, one-story building-that resembled a tiny rural school-was Ilion's first institution of learning. It stood near what was later known as Arlington Street on East Main Street and was preserved for many years.
Ilion High School
"In the Beautiful Vale of the Mohawk, There's a School
that has won much renown."
The development of the village, after the advent of the Civil War, demanded more spacious quarters for school purposes. Accordingly, following a meeting of the voters of the school district on December 17, 1864, the people accepted the plans and in 1865 a three story building, costing $23,000, was erected on Morgan Street. For many years, it was the largest schoolhouse in the Mohawk Valley.
In 1881, the small tower room on the third floor of the new building was converted into an office and library to be used as "a place where parents and other visitors could meet the principal or some teacher, and for meetings of the school board." It continued to be used as an "office" until 1900 when a further addition provided for such a gathering place on the ground floor. In this latter year, the addition made provided for conduct of science work in conjunction with High School subjects.
West Hill received its large school when the new building at North Fourth Avenue and Second Street was dedicated on April 30, 1897.
In 1867, the odious rate bill system gave way to the common free school. By the charter of 1866, the district boundaries were made identical with the limits of the village.
Not satisfied with the then existing common school, in 1851, twenty citizens formed an association, pledging themselves to pay $200.00 each annually to establish an academy. This project failed. As a result, private "select" schools were formed and continued successful for a number of terms. On August 7, 1862, the present High School had its inception when an academic department was established under the supervision of the regents of the state.
Since 1900, the State of New York has aided by the payment of an established sum to insure supervision of the schools. In 1875, just after the establishment of the academic department, $500.00 was given by the state to purchase physical apparatus.
Kindergartens were established in 1895.
Gradual, progressive development has taken place. In 1916 the North Street School and its addition was completed. In 1914 the new High School, illustrated herewith, was completed and in 1924 approval was given to proposed additions for a Junior High School on the same site; at West Hill, made necessary by crowded schoolrooms, a new building will be built on to the present structure there. A new tract, known as "Hunts Field," has been acquired by the Board of Education but at this time, no plans arrange for its use.
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