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North Street School - New Castle PA

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The first dedicated New Castle High School, shown above, was opened on North Street (at intersection of East Street) in about 1879. Professor Martin Gantz, the Superintendent of the New Castle School Board, was the driving force behind seeing that it was built. When the newer New Castle High School opened on Lincoln Avenue in September 1911 this school became known as the North Street School – and home to all of the city’s eighth graders. It was often referred to as the Eighth Grade School. Full Size

The girls 8th grade basketball team from the North Street School. (1922-23) Full Size

These 8th grade boys represented the North Street School in basketball and went on to attend New Castle High the following year. (1922-23) Full Size

A student handbook from the 1926-27 school year.

1926-27 handbook.

1926-27 handbook.Full Size

1926-27 handbook. Full Size

1926-27 handbook. Full Size

1926-27 handbook. Full Size

The school served as the city-wide home of all eighth graders until the Ben Franklin Junior High School opened in September 1922. At that time the school split the eighth graders and when the George Washington Junior High School opened in September 1928 this building became a dedicated elementary school. This old school was gutted by a disastrous fire on Saturday, February 2, 1952. (c1910)

The old New Castle High School opened on North Street in about 1879 and was later – while serving as an elementary school – gutted by fire in early February 1952. (c1908) Full Size

After the ruins of the old school were cleared away the new North Street Elementary School was built at the same location. The new school, which cost just over $447,000, opened for classes in September 1953 and was in service until it was closed in June 1974. It was renovated beginning in the spring of 1975 – at a whooping cost of $530,000 – and became the home for the administrative offices of the New Castle Board of Education in July 1976. Just three years later, in 1979, the school board sold the building to Universal-Rundle for only about $555,000. (Jul 2010)

Universal-Rundle used the building for corporate offices for about a decade until it was sold in the late 1980’s to the First National Bank of Western Pennsylvania – which later became First Western Bank and then Sky Bank. In April 2008, in the wake of Sky Bank being officially merged into Huntington Bank, the building was donated to the Greater New Castle Community Development Corporation. That agency later donated it to the city and it became the new home of the New Castle Police Department beginning in April 2012. (Aug 2015) Full Size


  1. This is now the home of the New Castle police department.

  2. After the fire , from Feb 1952 until Sept 1953, the North Street Elementary students attended classes at the Geo. Washington Jr High School while the new elementary school was being built. I can’t recall how we got there but I assume we were bused somehow.

  3. Was North Street School ever used for classes for Neshannock students while Neshannock’s high school was being built??

  4. It was a long time ago but I remember having classes in the church that was nearby. I believe that church was the old First Baptist Church on North and Water Streets. I was in the first grade. Does anyone else remember this?

  5. I too remember attending classes in a church for a few months during 1952 after the school burned down. Maybe it was to finish out that year and the following year we went to Geo Washington while the new elementary school was being built.


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