History of Our District
In early Lemont, the school district consisted of Walker Road School (also known as Hastings School) located at the base of Walker Road on old 4A (Main Street); Bell School located at Parker & Bell; Derby School located on Derby Road and Archer Avenue; Bracken School on 127th Street; and the Sag School located in Sag at 83 and Archer Avenue.
There was also Old Central School, the public school located in town on McCarthy Road which was later converted to condominiums. Teachers were required to serve a one year apprenticeship in one of the outlying schools before they could teach in the public school.
In 1869, the Lemont Public School Building was built. It was made of stone and had two stories and a basement. A clock and tower crowned its roof. The first superintendent was George D. Plank.
The first addition was made to the Lemont Public School building in 1896 which added facilities for the high school. The words “High School” were placed in stone in front of the new addition. In approximately 1925, Lemont Township High School allowed high school students to remain in Lemont.
When the high school left the Lemont Public School building, elementary students now had one room for each grade (1-8) as well as a combination office/library room.
In 1956, a second addition to the Lemont Public School building added four new classrooms, a gymnasium, locker rooms and an administrative area office. A third addition was built in 1958 adding six additional classrooms.
In 1949, the Lemont Grammar School became the Lemont Community Consolidated School District #113. The consolidation took place after elections were held. The schools included were Sag School (District #112), the Derby School (District #114), and the Bell School (District #115). Sag School District #112 voted to withdraw from the consolidation in 1949 only to merge with District #113 again in 1961. Sag School was the last one-room school in Cook County. Upon the dissolution of District #112, the Sag one-room school faded from existence.
A $400,000 bond issue was passed in 1963. This allowed for an addition which gave twelve classrooms, an all-purpose room, a large music room and improved locker room facilities. Voters approved a referendum for $620,000 in December of 1967. Then, in 1970, Oakwood School was built on approximately 22 acres of land at 1130 Kim Place.
By September of 1971, enrollment was 1,085 students with 52 faculty and staff between Oakwood and Central. Two mobile units were purchased in 1980 to help with the increasing enrollment at Oakwood. At this time, the old Central School building was put up for auction after it was determined too costly to bring it up to current safety codes. With the population still rising, Oakwood added eight new classrooms, a gym, kitchen area and locker room in 1986.
In 1990, Lemont School District #113 and Bromberek School District #65 combined to make Lemont-Bromberek Combined School District #113A. Upon combining the districts, Oakwood became an elementary building housing grades K-2 and 5-6. A referendum was approved by voters in 1994 to build a new middle school. In 1995, Bromberek School built an addition which added a gym, a multi-purpose room, library, and two new classrooms.
Old Quarry Middle School opened in the fall of 1997. With the opening of the new middle school, the other buildings reorganized into grade level centers. Oakwood School housed grades K-2. Bromberek and Central Schools housed grades 3-5. Central School underwent a large renovation to prepare for younger students in the building.
By the year 2000, student enrollment had climbed to 2,373 students. Additional staff was hired in order to reduce class sizes below 30 students per class. In February of 2001, the Board approved building a new elementary school for an approximate capacity of 650 students. By November, 2001 the District was approved for a State Construction grant and awarded construction funds for a new school on the Oakwood campus.
In May of 2003, the District entered into an agreement with the Archdiocese of Chicago (St. Al’s/St. Pat’s) to lease with the option to purchase for Bromberek School located on Davey Road. River Valley School was opened by the fall of 2003.