Edgewood School Celebrates its Centennial

October 2, 2011
Christopher Hoffman
Edgewood School today celebrated its centennial with an event featuring vintage photographs, videos, reminisces of alumni and tours of the historic building.
The original 1911 structure remains, having been renovated and added onto in the late 1990s.
When Edgewood School first opened, it served 1st to 8th graders from Westville. Today, it is a K-8 school with about 450 students from throughout New Haven.
 “This wonderful event marks a proud milestone for Edgewood School, a century of educating New Haven children,” Edgewood School Principal Bonnie Pachesa said. “Through the Great Depression, two world wars, the 1960s and beyond, Edgewood has prepared New Haven’s young for the future. I’m humbled to serve as principal of such an enduring educational institution. I believe that Edgewood is just getting started and will be celebrating its bicentennial 100 years from now.”
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Reginald Mayo said, “I’m very proud of Edgewood School’s first 100 years. The school’s long history shows New Haven’s lasting commitment to public education. Our city led the way in public education a century ago when Edgewood was built. We continue to do so today with our School Change reforms and New Haven Promise scholarships. Congratulations to the Edgewood community. I know you’re just getting started.”
Edgewood School gets its name from a 19th century farm operated by Westville pioneer Donald Grant Mitchell. Mitchell named his farm Edgewood because it stood at the edge of the woods on Forest road.
When Mitchell died in 1909, he bequeathed the farm to the city for use as a public park, helping creating Edgewood Park. When the school was completed in 1911, officials decided to name Edgewood School.  When the school first opened, cornfields were across the street in what is today Edgewood Park.
 Other milestones in Edgewood School’s history:

  • In 1914 a petition was circulated in the neighborhood to establish a kindergarten at the school. It was successful, and a kindergarten room was opened in the basement of the school, which is now the library.
  • In 1924 Susan S. Sheridan Junior High School opened on Fountain Street, and Edgewood became a kindergarten-through-grade-6 building.
  • In 1953, an addition housing six classrooms, a multipurpose room and an office was built on the West Rock Avenue side of the original Edgewood School for $325,000.
  • In 1978, with the educational trend towards having separate middle schools, grade 6 was moved to what became Sheridan Middle School.  Edgewood became a kindergarten to grade 5 building, remaining so for about 15 years.
  • In the mid-1990s, a group of parents and educators saw the need to expand the school. It was decided to demolish the outdated 1953 addition, renovate the historically significant 1911 building and construct a new addition to include a full size gymnasium/cafeteria, separate art and music rooms, library and 10 classrooms.  
  • On October 21, 1997, groundbreaking for Edgewood's renovations began. Two years and $9,000,000 later, the beautiful “new” Edgewood School was completed and reopened as a K-8 building. 

Edgewood will hold additional events throughout this school year celebrating the school’s centennial 
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