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Schools - Public & Private

City of Erie - Academy High School

Contributed by Bonnie Guilford

The article below has been written by Bonnie Guilford concerning the founding of the former Academy High School just south of Veterans Stadium between State Street and French Street and 26th Street and 29th Street. Bonnie put this together from articles in the old Erie newspapers, in the preparation of a "memory book" for a class reunion. If there are questions on this article, please contact Bonnie. Photo courtesy of Bill Klauk, taken February 2001.


There is no question that AHS came into existence in September, 1919. It had its own principal, its own faculty and its own student activities from September, 1919. The expectation that the school would be opened in September, 1919 was not realized. The City of Erie had not completed the very necessary installation of water and sewer lines in the extension of French and State Streets south of 26th Street and the instalation of the needed sewer and water lines.

The Erie Academy building continued to be used as a manual training and domestic science center almost to the time that the New Academy High School was ready for occupancy in September of 1920. The site was finally sold to the Second National Bank of Erie.

For one year both Academy High School and Central High School shared the facilities of Central High School. John C. Diehl was principal of Academy and W. E. Dimorier and Charlotte Lutje were student advisors while H. E. Stone and Hattie Schabacher were student advisors at Central High. George O. Moore was principal at Central High.

Academy High School was organized as a six year school or a combined junior-senior high school.

The site chosen for Academy High School was a 11 acre tract between 26 th and 29th Streets and the proposed extension of State and French Streets south of 26th. Plans for the building were drawn by William B. Ittner of St. Louis. The main contract was given to the W. M. Sutherland Company of St. Louis with the proviso that they were to be able to start work in June 1916. They were subsequently unable to pour the footers until spring of 1917. By November, 1918 he informed the the board of his inability to complete the contract without more funding. In April, 1919 a settlement was reached and they received an added $65,000 with a completion schedule of September 1, 1919. The original funding derived from the assets of Erie Academy amounting to $300,000.

Academy High School was opened for use in September 1920. It was necessary to place this building on a two session basis from September 1922 to 1924. Academy High School was occupied by two separate schols –Academy High School and Roosevelt Junior High School. Each had its own principal. C . W. NcNary was principal of Academy High School and C. F. Brockway was principal of Roosevelt Junior High School. Roosevelt opened its doors in February, 1924.

72 years later, in a mirror reversal of Erie history, AHS graduated its last senior class. At the beginning of the school year 1992-1993 AHS and Technical Memorial merged to become Erie Central High School. The two student bodies became unified and indistinct.

Bonnie Guilford 5/2001

This page was last updated on  Saturday, August 11, 2001 .

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2001 Erie County Pennsylvania Genealogy