In 1830, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania enacted a law requiring all municipalities to have separate school districts. Muhlenberg Township became a municipality in 1851. At this time the Muhlenberg School District was officially established with a one-room school called Schlottman School which was located on Kutztown Road.
Muhlenberg Township High School was built in 1924-1925 at the price of nearly $335,000, which would equate to almost $5 million in 2020. The school opened its doors in October 1925 to 272 students and 11 teachers. By 1930 increased enrollment called for expansion and a west wing was erected at the cost of $70,000.
The original campus sat on nine acres, which included the athletic fields, the high school building and Rosedale Grade School Building. An additional 13 acres were purchased for a football field and 36 acres that would eventually become a junior high school campus. By the 1940s sports included Boys Basketball, Girls Basketball, Cheerleading, Table Tennis, Boys Swimming, Boys Tennis, Boys Soccer and Boys and Girls Track. Other Activities included Band, Orchestra, National Honors Society, Handwork Club, Airplane Club, and Hall Patrol.
In February 1951, a new addition was completed which housed new shops, a cafeteria, two classrooms, a music room, art facilities, mechanical drawing rooms, and practical arts rooms. The cost of this addition was approximately $300,000. Classrooms in this new addition could accommodate 255 more pupils, and the new cafeteria could seat 448.
By 1960 the High school population (9th-12th) was 550 students. The junior high (7th & 8th) population alone was 620. The Muhlenberg Township School Board knew it needed to start expanding quickly to accommodate the growing baby boomer generation.
C.E. Cole Junior High School
In 1955, a new Junior High School, Clinton E. Cole Junior High, named after the first superintendent of the school district, was constructed on the land just northeast of the Muhlenberg Township High School building. It was dedicated on October 8th, 1956 and opened for the 1956-1957 school year. The Junior High was constructed in a campus style, with covered walkways connecting six different buildings.
These six buildings housed a gymnasium that seated 700, the 8th grade center, the 7th grade center, the crafts building, the cafeteria/auditorium that seated 300 and an office building. It also included 23 classrooms, two shops, a library, and a nurses suite and had the capacity to house 750 pupils. The Muhl’s High School Boys basketball team would play its games for the next four years at C.E. Cole due to the facilities being much better than the basement gym in the dated High School building.
C.E. Cole served as the Junior High for 13 years after which it became an intermediate school housing 5th & 6th graders. It was closed in the late 1990s when the then-new Muhlenberg Elementary Center was completed. The school reopened in 2008 after renovations and additions. It is no longer an open campus style as the renovations enclosed all of the buildings that once stood alone.
In 1964 construction on a new addition began next to the original high school building. It was completed in March of 1965. This addition included a new science labs, a lecture style classrooms, an auditorium and gymnasium. The old auditorium in the original building became the library. These new facilities would not be in use as the high school long. After 1973 this became the Muhlenberg Middle School building and housed grades 7th-9th.
A still-increasing student population called for construction of a new building. Planning for a new high school building began in 1970, and construction followed in 1971. In Fall of 1972 the current Muhlenberg High School building opened its doors. It is at this point the school dropped “Township” from its name.
During the 1990-1991 school year, the 1951 and 1965 additions to the original Muhlenberg Township High School building were renovated. During the summer of 1991, the original Muhlenberg Township High School building was razed.
In 1996 the new, all-encompassing Elementary Center was built on the same campus as C.E. Cole Intermediate. It rendered all other smaller elementary schools in the district at this time defunct. The district has remained largely the same since then, as all students K-12 go to schools located in the same tract of land. The schools have shifted pupil grades between buildings according to population ebbs and flows.
In 2003, the high school underwent various additions and renovations. These additions included classrooms for music, technology education, family consumer science, as well as physical education and athletic areas. The science labs and classrooms were given updates to meet modern curricular needs. Currently the High School includes Grades 10th-12th, the Middle School is 7th-9th, Intermediate School is 4th-6th and Elementary houses K-3rd.
Elementary Building History
Rosedale Grade School
Information on the Rosedale Building is hard to find, as I believe it was the oldest district building and already in existence at the time of the construction of the original Muhlenberg Township High School building. A yearbook from 1960 said the High School was originally a part of a 9-acre parcel along with the Rosedale Grade School. There is a small stand-alone building directly behind the old high school you can see in the aerials above that I believe it to be. There is also this 1930 article about the N.C. Schaeffer building opening that references a Rosedale Grade School, Old Rosedale building, and Rosedale portable buildings. If you have any information regarding Rosedale drop a comment or email me [email protected].
Hyde Park School
Hyde Park School was built in 1918 on Raymond Street between George and Girard Streets. It is directly behind what is now the Township Building. It is currently in use as a commercial building.
N.C. Schaeffer School
This school was located on Elizabeth Avenue, between Raymond and Earl Streets. It opened in September 1930 with 8 classrooms at a cost of $66,000. The school was built to alleviate some of the population off of Rosedale School. It was named after a late PA State Superintendent of Public Education, N.C Schaeffer. He was also a native of Maxatawny Township and former president of the Kutztown Normal School (now Kutztown University). This building was discontinued use and razed in the early 1980s.
Wilson Sarig School
Located on the corner of Hay Road and 8th Avenue in Temple. The original building was built in 1936, with extensive additions being constructed in the 1950s. It was named after a Lenhartsville native who later moved to Temple and was elected Justice of the Peace for Muhlenberg Township in 1900. He also went on to serve in the PA House of Representatives. The School functioned as an Elementary building for the district until it was sold in 1989. Wilson Sarig School is still standing and has been home to Kids Peace Foster Care of Reading since the 1990s.
Riverview Park Elementary
Riverview Elementary was built in 1957 and sits along Stoudts Ferry Bridge Road. It served as an elementary building until it was sold in 1996. The Riverview building is still standing and has been home to Riverview Christian School since closing for the Muhlenberg School District in 1996.
This article is dedicated to my Father’s class, Muhlenberg High 1977
Thank you for posting this. I was the first class to graduate in the new auditorium (1965). The other articles were interesting too
The Muhlenberg District also used a building on Rosedale Ave. for kindergarten. It’s by the playground at about 3530 Rosedale and is still standing. Before being used as a school it was a borough garage. It was used as a classroom until sometime in the Winter of 1964/65 when a little girl froze to the toilet seat. The kindergarten was then moved to the basement of the high school for the remainder of the year. The teacher was the wonderful Mrs. Koch.
Thanks for the info Greg, but omg that poor girl!LOL
Alexa: I graduated from Muhlenberg in 1982, just a few years behind your father. I remember the Rosedale elementary building behind what was then the Jr High School while I was there (circa 1977 – 1980). I think the building was razed around that time, but most likely that occurred while I was at the High School from 1980 to 1982. I have lived in Knoxville, TN since 1991, but I cannot tell you how happy I as to find your blog. I am going to work my way through all the articles. Talk about nostalgia!
Yes, the building behind the original Muhlenberg Twp. HS building was the Rosedale Elementary School. I graduated in 1972 in the auditorium in the new building and attended 10-12 grades in the buildings on E. Bellevue Avenue. I believe the Rosedale building was unoccupied at this time.