2563 Cottage St.
The first beach school was held in the Mayhew Page cottage at 2563 Cottage Street. The school opened in 1937 with 27 first, second, and third grade children and one teacher who was paid $80 monthly by the school board. "Free will" offerings were taken by the parents to pay the monthly rent. Within the year, the student body had outgrown the cottage, which was destroyed in Ian.
This school bus provided transportation for the next ten years to the second Beach School, which was a two-room schoolhouse that opened in 1938 with two teachers for grades 1-6 on Sterling St.
During WWII, the beach population increased rapidly. The newly constructed lunchroom was built behind the school and served as an additional classroom when the third teacher was added in 1943. 1948 Marked the end of an era when the last classes retired from the school to move to the larger Beach Elementary in 1949. The faculty of three no longer served as teachers, custodians, or bus drivers!
Beach Elementary, seen here, opened with a large auditorium and stage, with three classrooms in each wing. One classroom served as a lunchroom until the cafeteria was added in 1955. The school quickly expanded, adding an office-side entrance with a ramp leading to the courtyard and primary wings. The two kindergarten classrooms opened in 1972, and later the auditorium was converted to a library and media center.
The original building on Oak Street survived the storm but was damaged by the surge. After much discussion and pleading by beach residents to keep the school on the island, the school board agreed to repair the original historic building. The administration building, teacher's work room, and classrooms were torn down due to severe damage.
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