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The Highland Avenue School (shown above) opened for classes in about late 1896 to serve the students of the North Hill section of New Castle. The school was severely damaged by a devastating fire on Sunday, March 19, 1916 and the third floor dome and second floor were lost. A new two-story school was rebuilt around the ground floor and opened sometime in early 1917. This school was in service until a new Highland Avenue Elementary School opened across the street in September 1963. That school was renamed in honor of the late U. S. President John F. Kennedy in December 1963. The old Highland Avenue School was sold in May 1965 and was demolished the following month. (c1902) Full Size
The Highland Avenue School, its massive dome cropped from this photo, was severely damaged in a fire in March 1916. (c1903) Full Size
This photo reveals the locations of the since-demolished Highland Avenue School and it’s replacement – the John F. Kennedy Elementary School. (c2012)
The new Highland Avenue Elementary School opened in September 1963, and was renamed as the John F. Kennedy Elementary School that coming December. It initially served kids in grades 1-6. After a reorganization plan was enacted in the summer of 1988 the school became known as the John F. Kennedy Primary Center, serving kids in grades 1-3. When the new Harry W. Lockley Early Learning Center became fully operational the Kennedy building was closed for good in early July 2014. (Jul 2013) Full Size
The cornerstone of the former John F. Kennedy School on Highland Avenue. (Jul 2013)
The John F. Kennedy Primary Center, appraised at $150,000, was closed in July 2014 and soon put up for sale in a sealed bid auction. In September 2014 a bid of $152,000, put forth by the Word of Life Christian Fellowship, was accepted by the school board – even though a later rival bid of $180,000 clouded the issue for some time. I believe final approval is still pending as of the end of 2014. (Jul 2013) Full Size