STEM Magnet School
The Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School is currently under development. The district plans to open the school in either September 2013 or September 2014. It will initially serve students in grades 3-5.
The school will have a heightened focus on science, technology, engineering and math instruction and activities, as well as encompassing English, social studies and other areas of traditional education that are featured in the district's elementary schools. Inquiry-based instructional strategies will be utilized.
As a magnet school, students will be able to participate in the STEM program regardless of their regular elementary attendance zone. The district has petitioned the State Education Department to open and operate the magnet school.
The district is looking into the possibility of creating partnerships with corporations, colleges and research labs and related organizations. Plans have been developed to renovate the school's science laboratories to provide students with cutting edge facilities.
Jack Abrams School sits near the former site of two of the Huntington School District's earliest schools. The district's central administrative offices are located in the lower level north wing of the building.
In September 2008, Huntington Intermediate School was renamed in honor of Jack Abrams, a former Huntington teacher and principal who is the founding curator of the district's School Heritage Museum.
Huntington Elementary School was built not far from where the former Lowndes Avenue and Roosevelt Elementary Schools once stood. The structure was erected in 1968-69 as part of the federal government's Huntington Station Urban Renewal project.
Prior to the construction of Lowndes Avenue School, the district utilized a building on School Street between Lowndes Avenue and New York Avenue. It was alternately known as School Street School or Station School. The structure was later used as a U.S. Post Office and VFW Hall. It, too, was demolished during the Urban Renewal initiative.
Lowndes Avenue School was built in 1913 for $58,000. Like most elementary schools at the time, it served students ranging from kindergarten through eighth grade. In 1927 an addition was added at a cost of $99,409 and the building was renamed Roosevelt School in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt. When Robert K. Toaz Junior High School opened in 1939, Roosevelt became a true elementary school, housing grades K-6.
Roosevelt, which faced Lowndes Avenue between Winding Street and School Street, was an imposing structure. As was common during this era, it featured separate entrances for boys and girls. The building was closed on January 27, 1967 and was demolished during the 1967-68 school year. Construction of the current building started soon after. (Note: School Street was eliminated during Urban Renewal. If it still existed it would run through the Jack Abrams School athletic fields to the south of the current building.)
During the Urban Renewal program, the town commenced eminent domain proceeding to condemn nearly ten acres of land and many homes west of Lowndes Avenue between School Street and Tower Street, in order to enlarge the school site. The $2.9 million cost of Huntington Elementary School was primarily funded by the federal and state governments through Urban Renewal related funds and special state aid. The building was designed to accommodate 1,000 students.
When Huntington Elementary School first opened in 1969, it was used as a junior high school. Toaz was closed that year for renovations after a fire badly damaged the auditorium and surrounding areas and so a large new wing could be constructed. The following year Huntington El, as it was affectionately known, began serving students ranging from kindergarten through sixth grade. It continued housing elementary grade level students through June 2010.
The structure was built to also serve as a community center, with a full auditorium, an oversized gym, several multi-purpose rooms, a large cafeteria and library and a courtyard featuring an impressive amphitheater with a series of huge built-in concrete steps for outdoor instruction and performances.
The interior layout provides relatively easy access to all facilities, a plus for evening use. The two-story structure sits on a 13-acre site. The final design incorporated the desires of many segments of the school community.