City schools through the years …
The ultimate historical account of Long Branch — the 1940 bio-book Entertaining a Nation — gives “praise to the city’s three fighting superintendents” for guaranteeing the city’s educational heritage. They being: Thomas G. Chattle, Christopher Gregory and Charles T. Stone.
Formal education for Long Branch started in West Long Branch in 1780 at a schoolhouse on Cedar Avenue. It wasn’t until 1812 when the first Long Branch school opened on Broadway and then expanded in 1840. John Wood was the first schoolmaster. The original Long Branch Primary School No. 1 was opened on Broadway in 1870; built for about $50,000. That same year the first Garfield Avenue school was also opened.
The first Long Branch board of education was formed in 1873 and within three years the city’s first high school on Prospect Street was opened. Dr. James Green was the first principal.
Today there are eight Long Branch Public Schools located throughout the city including about 5,800 students and 475 teachers. The total annual city education budget is $102 million; city taxpayers cover about half and the rest is state aid. For 2021: Francisco Rodriguez is the new Superintendent of Schools and Donald Covin is President of the Board of Education.
Following are some photos of the city’s schools through the years:
LB school’s athletic team name, 1963.
This Harvard man was a LB high school principal for over 25 years, APP April 1937.
Chattle High School on Morris Avenue, 1905. Named for Dr. Thomas G. Chattle — “the father of the city school system” — who became superintendent in 1857. A physician, he also served in the NJ state assembly and senate.
Chattle School building still simmering after fire, 1966.
Chattle High School, 1919. The $78,000, four-story brick building was opened in October 1899.
Chattle High School (l) and LB Middle School (r) on Morris Avenue, 1908.
Chattle School Building fire, March 1966. Some 650 junior high students were evacuated from the Morris Avenue school in under 2 minutes.
Long Branch High School, 1930s.
Long Branch High School on Indiana Avenue, 2010s. Opened in 1927; closed in 2007.
LB High School, 1950s. Designed by Ernest A. Arend; the construction cost was $683,000.
LB High School, 1950s.
LB High School, 1990s.
Old North Long Branch School area, 2018. Also called the “Church Street School,” the three-story brick building was gutted by fire in April 1928 but reopened the following year.
North Long Branch School, 1980s. Opened in 1891; closed in 1979. After sitting dormant for 40 years it’s being converted into high-end condos.
North Long Branch School on Church Street. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.
Broadway School, 1950s. Built in 1890; closed in 1981. In the mid-1970s, it held nearly 350 students.
Broadway School at the time of its closing in 1981. In 1984, Arthur and Frank Siegfried acquired the red brick building for $50,000 and added $2 million more in renovations. Today, it’s an office building.
Bucktown School on Norwood Avenue, 1930s. Built in 1840 by George Northam.
Liberty Street School, 1940s. Established as a “colored school” in 1884, under pressure from the local NACCP the city school board integrated the school in April 1947.
Old graded school “Grammar School” on Prospect Avenue (l). The Chattel High School is behind it on Morris Avenue, 1960s. The Chattle High School burned down and the Grammar School was torn down years later when the city built Anastasia School.
Long Branch Graded School. The building opened for classes in Sept. 1876.
LB Intermedial School. Opened in 1912 on Morris Avenue at a cost of $137,000.
LB Grammar School, early 1900s.
New Gregory School on Monmouth Avenue. Opened in 2007, the school cost $24 million.
Old Gregory School at Seventh and Joline Avenues. Opened in 1924 and named for Christopher Gregory, a city Superintendent of Schools for 32 years (1889-1921).
Gregory School, 1940s. Today it’s a senior citizen apartment complex.
George L. Catrambone Elementary School on Park Avenue. The K-5 school was opened in 2014. Mr. Catrambone worked in the city’s school system for nearly 40 years, starting as a special ed teacher and retiring as assistant superintendent. It replaced the old Elberon School which opened in January 1954.
Catrambone Elementary School. The 109,000-square-foot school was built by Greyhawk Construction; the cost was $43 million.
Amerigo A. Anastasia School on Seventh Avenue. Opened in 2005, the grammar school cost $24 million. It was named for Dr. Anastasia, a longtime city pharmacist and school board president. The school on Morris Avenue had been the old “Anastasia School.”
Lenna W. Conrow School, 1958. The Long Branch Avenue school opened in 1955 and was named for its retiring principal, Miss Conrow, who started teaching at the North End school in 1904.
Joseph M. Ferraina Early Childhood Learning Center on Avenel Blvd. Opened in 1999. The namesake ran the city’s school system from 1992 until 2011 and helped secure massive state funding for many new schools.
West End School on West End Avenue. When it closed in 2014, it was the city’s oldest operating school. The NJ Repertory Company acquired the property for $2 million in 2016.
Garfield School ablaze, 1963.
New Garfield School on Garfield Avenue under construction in 1964. The old school that dated to 1870 had burned suspiciously in 1963.
LB Schools Superintendent Joseph Ferraina at the opening of new Gregory School, 2007. At that time thanks to Abbot district funding the city received nearly $200 million to built/renovate 8 schools.
Bressett Stadium at LBHS (2,000 capacity), 2019. The football field was named in honor Edison E. “Ted” Bressett, a longtime high school Athletic Director and coach who died in 1966.
And religious education in Long Branch …
Star of the Sea Academy on Chelsea Avenue, 1940s.
Star of the Sea Lyceum, 1950s. Designed by Jeremiah O’Rourke & Sons in 1900; construction cost was $45,000.
Star of the Sea Lyceum. The Catholic elementary school at Third and Chelsea Avenues was made of limestone.
Star of the Sea Lyceum School on Chelsea Avenue. Built in 1900; closed in 1986.
Star of the Sea Academy, 1968.
Star of the Sea Lyceum on Chelsea Avenue, 2019.
Star of the Sea Lyceum basement, 2019.
Star of the Sea Lyceum 1st floor, 2019.