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A whole lot of learning has gone on within the walls of area's 9 oldest schools

Oldest one was built 116 years ago
Posted: 12:00 PM, Aug 30, 2016
Updated: 2016-08-30 12:00:50-04
A whole lot of learning has gone on within the walls of area's 9 oldest schools

CINCINNATI -- New school buildings are constructed every year in districts around the region.

While older buildings often are sold or demolished, some have stood the test of time.

Most of those older buildings have been renovated, and some have operated as buildings for different grade levels than those they currently serve. But for now, these nine buildings are the oldest public schools operating in Hamilton, Butler and Warren counties.

RELATED: See photos of the area's oldest schools.

1. Hyde Park School – 1900

Hyde Park School is not only the oldest school operating in Cincinnati Public Schools, it’s the oldest in the area. Built in 1900, the building was designed by architect Samuel Hannaford, who also designed the Cincinnati Observatory, Music Hall and Cincinnati City Hall. It operates as a neighborhood school for kindergarten through fourth-grade students and a gifted academy for third- through sixth-graders.

2. Hughes High School – 1910

Hughes High School was originally located on West Fifth and Mound streets near downtown Cincinnati but was moved to Clifton Heights in 1910. The school -- one of 16 high schools in Cincinnati Public Schools -- was renovated in 2009 and now operates as a STEM school, emphasizing science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Juniors and seniors have the opportunity to choose from four STEM majors -- programming and software development, engineering futures, health sciences and zoo academy.

3. Rothenberg Preparatory Academy – 1913

Located at 241 East Clifton Ave., Rothenberg Preparatory Academy was built in 1913. In 2008, it was slated for demolition, but community and Over-the-Rhine Foundation members banded together to get Cincinnati Public Schools to renovate it instead. The building, which serves pre-kingergarten through sixth-grade students, reopened in 2013 and now features a rooftop garden where the playground previously was located.

4. Norwood Middle School – 1914

The building that today is known as Norwood Middle School opened as a high school in 1914. It became a junior high school in 1972, before being converted to a middle school in 1988. As a middle school, it housed sixth- through eighth-grade students until the 2003-04 school year, when it became a seventh- and eighth-grade building.

5. Norwood View Elementary – 1916

Norwood View Elementary celebrates its centennial this year. Construction began on the building -- previously known as Norwood View Public School in 1915, and the school opened the following year. School officials later built onto the school in 1929, 1934 and 1953. Male and female students enter the building and learn together now, but the building still features the original boys' and girls entrances on opposite sides of the building. Separate entrances were a common feature on school buildings through the 1800s, when students often learned in gender-segregated environments.

6. Waynesville Elementary School – 1915

Built in 1915 as a high school, the building that is now Waynesville Elementary was originally 19,023 square feet and featured three floors. Seven additions were built onto the school between 1938 and 2000. A wood shop, which was added in 1940, is the location of the district office for Wayne Local Schools.

7. Williams Avenue Elementary – 1917

Although the original Williams Avenue school building opened in 1892, the current building was constructed in 1917. It has been modified multiple times since then. Today, the kindergarten through sixth-grade school also houses the Norwood City School District office.

8. Withrow University High School - 1919

Ground was broken for Withrow High School in 1915, but because of delays as a result of supply needs during World War I construction wasn't completed until 1919. The school sits on 27 acres at the intersection of Erie and Madison roads. The district purchased the property in 1913 from Cincinnati Zoo founder Andrew Erkenbrecher. Withrow now operates as a college preparatory school known as Withrow University High School.

9. Franklin Junior High – 1921

Franklin Junior High School was built in 1921 at 136 E. Sixth St., in Franklin. The building, which originally housed students in sixth through 12th grade, got an addition in 1931. It transitioned to a 10th- through 12th-grade school in 1956. Today, it operates as a junior high for seventh- and eighth-graders in Franklin City School District.

And a bonus historic school, for good measure

Middletown Middle School – 1923

Middletown Middle School, which was previously known as Stephen Vail High School, opened in 1923. It topped the $1 million mark, making it the most expensive school ever built at the time. The seventh- and eighth-grade school is the oldest building in Middletown City School District, but it soon will be replaced. A new middle school is slated to open in 2018, and the current building is expected to be demolished shortly after.