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Home » Waterville Central School District to celebrate 150 years

Waterville Central School District to celebrate 150 years

A black and white photo of an old school building.
Union Free School in Waterville, NY. Photo provided by Waterville Historical Society. 

May 2024 will mark 150 years since what is now known as the Waterville Central School District was recognized by the New York State Board of Regents.

As part of the celebration, the district will host a ceremony on May 16 at 9:30 a.m. to officially commemorate this milestone.

“Education has been central to Waterville for more than 150 years. We are proud to have served our communities for almost two centuries,” said superintendent Dr. Jennifer Spring.

The district’s history will be incorporated into lessons with students during the spring semester of the 2023-24 school year. 

“Telling our story is key to the celebration. The goal is to create a book chronicling Waterville and Oriskany Falls alums through the decades as told to our students through first-person interviews. The biographies will be compiled and included in a time capsule,” explained Dr. Spring.

The district is partnering with the Waterville Historical Society to provide information regarding our rich history. Upon completion, they will then archive the biographies, and preserve the stories of our alums for future generations.

Here is a brief timeline of schools in Waterville:

  • According to the Waterville Historical Society, the first schoolhouse was built between 1787 and 1789.
  • According to the 1929 edition of Waterville’s yearbook, “The Academic Union,” the “educational institution now known as the Waterville High School” was founded on September 15, 1813.
  • The documentation in the yearbook shows trustees voted for a new schoolhouse on January 7, 1814 and it opened the following year.
  • In 1871, another new school was constructed and it was known as Union Free School.
  • In May 1874, the New York State Board of Regents officially recognized the Waterville Union School and Academy – which would later become the Waterville Central School District. 2024 will mark 150 years since this first recognition.
  • Waterville Central School later operated out of what is now Schoolhouse Apartments, which was a school building built in 1929.
  • Then in 1933, a school building was built in Deansboro for up to sixth grade. The high school students attended school in Waterville.
  • Memorial Park Elementary School was built in 1960.
  • The current Waterville Jr./Sr. High School was built in 1974.
  • In 1983, Oriskany Falls Union Free School was incorporated into the Waterville Central School District.

In addition to the ceremony in May, there will be throwback photos and historical facts posted on the district’s Facebook page.

More details about the May ceremony will be announced in the coming months.