Education has been one of importance to the residents in the vicinity of Waverly since the earliest settlers in the 1800's, with the school house one of the earliest community buildings erected.
Students in Waverly now attend classes in buildings that are far removed in architectural style from the log and frame ones that served their predecessors.
The year 1979 has been especially significent in the move toward more modern buildings. The district has sold its two oldest buildings and one of them has now been razed.
Now that the West End is gone and the Muldoon building has been sold, only Elm Street can be considered an " old " building, with the others all built less then 20 years ago.
The building program began with the construction of Lincoln and Ithaca Street Elementary Schools and an addition to the Chemung School in the 1961 - 62 school year.
With the completion of the Don W. McClelland Junior - Senior High School in 1967, the transformation was complete and the old buildings were no longer needed to house students.
Beyond the changes in the physical plant, many additional services are available to the student of today. In the last 25 years, vocational - technical courses have been added throughout the Board of Cooperative Educational Services.
Expanded programs for students with special needs and introduction of college level courses through Corning Community College are other recent developments in the academic program offered by the district.
Growth and change of the last few years merely continues a pattern set many years ago, when Waverly's first schools were established in homes and the traditional one - room schoolhouse.
The first building erected for school purposes was the Walker School, which stood across from the Tioga General Hospital and was used from 1821 until the early 1840's.
Older schools in the early years included one on Ithaca Street ( 1830's to 1884 ) and the old West End 1845 until its destruction by fire in 1901 ) For many years, these were the district's only two schools.
By 1856 it was evident that there was a need for advanced education and the Waverly Institute was organized. Although there were several private schools opened through the years, there was no comprehensive high school as we know it today. In contrast to the free grade schools, tuition was charged by the Institute.
When the Institute opened in 1857 a total of 99 pupils were enrolled in several courses offered . By 1871, enrollment had increased to 165, with the total for all schools in the Village set at 399.
At this time, the old Institute was taken over by the Village and became part of Union Free District No.7. The task of the new school board was to keep up with the rapid growth of the community. Overcrowding was common in all buildings.
As a result two new schools were built; Grove School in 1875 was located at the corner of Providence and Spaulding Streets in Spaulding's Grove and used until Elm Street was built in 1927. The old Lincoln Street School, built in 1876, was used until 1962.
During this period, it was necessary to rent rooms in churches and stores and ultimately, to erect more schools.
Two buildings that date from that period of expansion are Muldoon, built in 1913 and used first as the high school, then the junior high until 1967.
The East Ward School was built in 1884 and housed elementary students until partially destroyed by fire and acquired by the American Legion in 1948.
The Elm Street School was built in 1927 and added to in 1939 - 40. It was used as the high school until the present building was opened in 1967.
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Ernie Miles...... This page was updated Wednesday, 26-Mar-2008 06:47:50 PDT.