History of ACS


The history of education in the Boonville area is an interesting one that dates to the earliest beginnings of our community. Tradition holds that Lydia Bulkley, who married John Post, started Boonville's first school in a private home about 1802. Shortly after this time a Mr. Davis conducted school in a building that doubled as a school house and town hall. This building burned in 1806. In 1807, Mr. Higby and Mr. Wheeler built a log school on West Street. A stone school house was built in 1817 on Post Street where Schuyler Street currently meets post. The stone school was razed to make way for a two story school about 1852. The arrival of the railroad into the village in 1855 led to the sale of and moving of the new school. The proceeds from the sale of the school, along with increased revenues, were used to build an enlarged school on Academy Street.

The school built on the corner of Academy and Charles Streets was enlarged in 1876 only to be moved three years later to make way for a larger school. The school building erected in 1879 served as a local landmark for many years before it was razed in 1979 to make way for a parking lot. The Academy, as it was known, served the community as a progressive learning institution for over thirty years, surviving a lightning strike and fire in 1897.

By 1910, a new school was begun on the very familiar corner of Post and Ford Streets. In 1911 the pride of the community was a two story, twenty-four room, yellow tapestry brick building. Tragedy struck on February 9, 1922 when a major fire completely destroyed this magnificent edifice. Students were immediately spread out throughout the community in makeshift classroom while plans for a new building were begun. The enlarged school built on the same site is currently used at the Boonville Elementary building.

The disappearance of the rural one room school house had been taking place for decades. In 1944, twenty-seven local school districts were centralized and named Boonville Central School. Improvements were made to Boonville Central School in 1953 with the addition of the elementary wing and new gymnasium. Older generations no doubt remember when the High School was located on the basement level of the current Boonville Elementary.

Consolidation and growth marked the 1950's and 60's with Ava merging with Boonville in 1957. Forestport and West Leyden joined the pack in 1966. The final merger resulted in the creation of Adirondack Central School as we know it today. The Adirondack Wildcats replaced the Boonville Green Hornets, the Forestport Red Raiders, and the West Leyden Indian Braves as old rivalries turned into new friendships. The last major building project was the modern high school started in 1969 and dedicated in 1970 along with the new Forestport Elementary School. 1991 marks the twentieth anniversary of the first senior class to graduate from the new high school in 1971. A sense of pride and loyalty to the "green and white" are hallmarks of a school system that currently includes fifteen townships and parts of three counties serving over 1,800 students.

-Researched & written by James Pitcher, Class of '68

1802 First School taught in a private home at the corner of Post and Schuyler Streets.
1803 Two Story Town and School House erected.
1807 A log school house was built on West Street.
1817 A stone two story school house erected at the foot of Schuyler Street.
1852 Two story school house erected where Schuyler Street joins Post Street.
1855 The Academy was built on Academy Street.
1867 The Academy was organized as a union school and Academy.
1876 The Academy building was enlarged.
1879 Large new building built in front of the original building. The original building was moved back 60 feet and faced Charles Street.
1884 First catalog.
1885 Teachers Training Class instituted.
1886 Coal furnace replaced stoves.
1888 Additions built on the Academy building for grades.
1890 Music classes taught.
1891 Graduation exercises held at the Comstock Opera House.
1895 Compulsory Education Law went into effect.
1897 The Academy was graded as a high school.
1897 Lightning struck the belfry of the Academy building, resulting in a fire that damaged the library of the Academy.
1902 Extensive improvements made to the Academy Building.
1910 New School building started on Ford Street.
1911 December the new Ford Street School building is occupied
1922 February 9, bitter cold night, fire totally destroyed Ford Street School Building. Schoolheld in various churches and meeting rooms.
1922 Much larger building erected on Ford Street location.
1924 New school building occupied
1944 June 30, twenty-seven school districts centralized.
1944 September 5, Boonville Central School District #1 instituted.
1949 June 16, Boonville High School name changed to Boonville Central School.
1953 Boonville Central School building was enlarged and remodeled. New gymnasium andgrade school additions were built
1957 Ava District #6 was centralized with Boonville Central School.
1958 November 3, Boonville Central School joins the National Honor Society.
1960s During the decade, overcrowding of the Boonville Central school building resultedinKindergarten and First Grade classes being held in various churches and lodge rooms.
1966 Boonville Central School District reorganized and merged with West Leyden andForestport School Districts to form one large school district known as the AdirondackCentralSchool District.

November 15,1966, the board discussed the results ofballoting on the names by the students of Boonville, Forestport and WestLeyden. The name receiving the mostvotes (296) was the Adirondack Foothills Academy or Central School. TheLewneida Central School had a total of119 votes. Black River, Black RiverValley Central School had a total of 133 votes, Tri-Valley Central School 108votes. Adirondack Central School was selected at that meeting as the name forthe newly organized district of Boonville, Forestport and West Leyden.

1967 On January 26 the University of the State of New York officially accepts the name Adirondack Central School.

1968 May 10, Ground Breaking Ceremonies held for the building of the new Senior High School located on upper Ford Street in back of the Boonville Oneida County FairGrounds.

1970 February - June Kindergarten and First Grade classes were held in part of the highschool.

1970 The last class graduated from the old high school building on Ford Street. In September, the new Adirondack High School opened and, on November 1, the former high school is now the "Boonville Elementary" housing grades Pre - Kindergarten through fifth.

1971 The first class graduates in the new Senior High School.

1979 In Fall, the Academy Building erected in 1855 is razed. J. H. Elsaser purchased the Academy Building in 1912 establishing the Union Specialty Works. The site of the old Academy Building is now a parking lot.

1981 The Class of '81 was an extremely large class with 149 graduates. This class contributed money to finish building the courtyard and also establish a scholarship in memory of a fellow classmate which is given yearly.

1986 The Class of '86 was an exceptionally highly motivated class both in academics and in sports. This class his had 13 New York Regent Scholarship winners and 37 students graduated with honors. In Athletics, the Boys' Basketball team won the IVL Championship (First time in 15 years) and won the Sectional Title. The Boys' Baseball team won the IVL Championship (second consecutive) and also, won the Class C Title and the Regional Title.

1987 This class was one the the smallest graduating in recent years, and the first class that needed economics and government to graduate.

1990 Unfortunately, this was the last graduating class to receive New York State Regents Scholarships.

1991 The Class of '91 completed their senior year having had three principles (at the high school) during their four years. One member of this class was appointed to and enrolled in the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. Members of this class rolled with the punches as new initiatives were undertaken in student discipline and academic expectations. Their sense of humor and desire to do well helped the faculty to reaffirm a learning environment within the building. This class held the first outdoor graduation ceremony in the history of the school.

ACS History