Mendon Center Elementary School
Grades: Young Kindergarten through grade 5
Enrollment: Approximately 750
Thirty-five acres of the Vernon Plain Farm on Mendon Center Road was purchased in 1958 for the erection of a junior high school—school building number six in Pittsford Central School District. The estimated cost of the proposed site was $70,000.
Mendon Center School was originally built as a junior high school. The new school was readied for opening in the fall of 1963. All district students in grades 6, 7, and 8 were to be housed at Mendon Center Junior High School. This enabled the elementary schools to accommodate students in K-5 and the high school, grades 9-12. Estimated totals of students at school opening was 750 sixth, seventh and eighth graders.
This 1960’s building was designed for “modern” times at a cost of $2 million. It was the only school in the area constructed with showers in the underground cafeteria as this room, encased in concrete, was to serve the dual purpose of a huge underground fallout shelter. The showers were for the purpose of washing off radioactive debris in the event of a nuclear attack.
The school auditorium had a capacity of 400 seats, and was built to double as a classroom for large group instruction. The one-story building had 31 classrooms—two for electronic language laboratories, two for art rooms, two industrial arts rooms, and two home economics rooms, in addition to a large gymnasium and library.
With the opening of the new junior high school, school hours for 7th and 8th graders moved from 9:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. hours to 8:10 a.m. to 2:23 p.m. The late hours had been used because of sharing classrooms in the main high school building (now Sutherland High School) and for bus transportation scheduling.
With declining enrollments in the 1980’s, Mendon Center Junior High School was closed in 1984 and all district 7th and 8th graders moved to Pittsford Middle School on Barker Road. The major part of the school building was leased to BOCES for use as an alternative high school program for a five-year period. Use of the gym, lockers and storage spaces and playing fields were retained for use by the district.
Five years later, when elementary enrollments began to increase, reorganization plans were adopted and Mendon Center School, after refurbishment and renovation and the construction of a new playground, was opened as an elementary school in September 1989 for a projected 600 kindergarten through sixth grade students.
Today, Mendon Center Elementary School has an enrollment of approximately 750 students in kindergarten through the 5th grade. The 2002 revitalization project approved by school district voters provided the school with additional main entry security, library renovations and expansion, cafeteria dehumidification, replacement of certain lighting, windows and doors, and provided handicapped accessibility in the health office. Electrical service, public address and fire alarm systems were upgraded as was the technology infrastructure. A new phone system was installed, kitchen equipment was replaced, and playground equipment was added. Parking, entry and exit roads, curbing, sidewalks and asphalt and drainage renovations were also completed. The majority of these renovation projects were completed for the 2005-2006 school year.