Avon Elementary School first opened its doors in 1908.
By DENISE HERSCHEL
The Avon Historical Society is sponsoring its fifth display entitled “A History of the Avon School” beginning March 15 at the Avon Post Office, 321 Main St., Avon. The display will feature the timeline of the Avon Elementary School and will coincide with the history contest that will be held in April at the school as Social Studies teacher Scott Pauciello teaches his history unit to the students.
AHS President Norah Magrini said that the display is sponsored by the AHS with the support of Al Cunningham, Postmaster of the Avon Post Office. Included in the display are pictures and postcards, old graduation programs, diplomas, yearbooks, newsletters, certificates and sports memorabilia.
“The Historical Society has some things for the display. Vinnie Nappo, former physical education teacher at the school, loaned me some artifacts. Avon resident Janice Scrabis gave us some items and I have my own things and some from my children for the display,” Magrini said.
Other displays that the AHS have done this past year include the Avon Post Office, the Avon Pool, the Avon Inn and the Hotels of Avon.
“We don’t have a museum and people have been so generous in donating historical items. The displays are a great way to showcase the items and teach people what the history is of our town,” she said.
The Avon Elementary School, located at 505 Lincoln Ave., is 115 years old. The school currently has 121 students enrolled and is a Pre-K through eighth grade school.
The school has a long and interesting history, first opening its doors in April 1908 at its current location. It originally faced Fifth Avenue. Prior to 1904, Avon students attended school in Neptune City on Steiner Avenue.
“In 1907, sixth grade and below, attended school on the corner of Main Street and Garfield Avenue in the rear of RC Love’s building which was also occupied by the Albert May Real Estate Offices. Older students attended school in Ocean Grove,” Magrini said. “In November 1907, a special election was held to buy two lots on Lincoln Avenue and Fifth Avenue, not to cost more than $1,200. A four room building was proposed for grades K-8. They had a budget of $8,000 for the project. High school students would attend Neptune High School in Ocean Grove. Avon had to legally separate the school district from Neptune.”
In 1908, officials ended up building a two room school with a spacious basement and this building was used until 1912. In September 1912, work was started to enlarge the school. Two more lots were purchased on Lincoln Avenue to provide a playground.
In April 1923, a vote of 56-1 passed a measure to put another addition on the school building.
In January 1952, the school had to close down due to an outbreak of the measles which affected 56 students. In February 1957, the board approved the building of a gym/ all-purpose room which was defeated by the voters despite support of town leaders, in a vote of 435-253. In 1966, the Avon Municipal Building was built on a lot where the train station once stood at the top of Lincoln Avenue. This finally provided a home court for the students. Students walked up the street for physical education classes.
In September 2004, Manasquan High School became an option for high school students again. Avon School began to accept tuition students for the first time. In March 2007, ground was broken for another addition to the school. A wing was added with a science lab, library/media center, and a cafeteria. Upgrades were also done to HVAC, security and main office. In March 2020, the COVID pandemic closes the school and students learned online until September 2020.
To learn more about the school display or donating to the display email firstname.lastname@example.org