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Franklin School History


 
The Franklin School system began in 1871 and consisted of a two-room school located opposite the present Jewish synagogue with an enrollment of 50 pupils. In 1914, the school stepped into "modern" times when the central part of the building was constructed on Washington Avenue and was used as a vocational school. In 1922, the left wing was added, and in April 1926, $150,000 was appropriated to build the right wing, which was occupied in September of 1927.

At the time, the Franklin education system was heralded in newspapers as the most modern school district in Sussex County, and they detailed every item in the school’s shops. Victrolas and stereopticon lanterns
are some examples of the "modern" equipment found in the school.

In 1924, the graduating class of Franklin Industrial School, as it was known then, consisted of nine students, and by 1928, its first regular high school class of 14 students was graduated.

In 1960, an auditorium and gymnasium were added to the complex, but this resulted in the moving of a grandstand at the baseball field that was considered by many as the best in the county at the time. School Superintendent, Thomas Komlo, said he believed that engineers from the NJ Zinc Company, along with Babe Ruth, who was a frequent visitor to Franklin, designed the baseball field to the same dimensions as Yankee Stadium.

Records kept by the school and shared by Superintendent Komlo stated that the largest graduating class that from Franklin High School was 240 in 1972, which was before Vernon Township High School was built. Franklin operated on split sessions and rented outside classrooms at a local church in order to school all the students. In addition to Franklin residents, the school also educated high school students from Jefferson, Hardyston, Hamburg, Vernon, and Ogdensburg.

At one time, there were only four high schools in Sussex County: Franklin, Hamburg, Sussex, and Newton. Hamburg High School closed when it became too small to house the extensive programs that were being developed for secondary education. Sussex High School closed in 1966 when High Point Regional High School opened its doors.

The class of 1982 was the last class to graduate from Franklin High School because in September 1982, Wallkill Valley Regional High School opened its doors, and Franklin High School closed theirs. Franklin School, K-12 then became Franklin Elementary School, K-8.

In October 1990, Franklin School celebrated it 75th birthday with wonderful festivities. Banners were made, oil paintings that depicted the school in 1915 and 1910 were created, and a new school song was composed.   All were dedicated at the celebration. The paintings still hang in the hallway  nearest to the main office today.

 
 
 

 
 
 

Last update June 16, 2015