Ingomar Elementary School Celebrates 100 Year Anniversary!
In 1910, when Ingomar Elementary School first opened its doors to the community, on the same site where it exists today, it was a one-room frame building that was intended to house students in eight grades who were taught by one instructor. It was heated by a pot-bellied stove that stood in the middle of the room Out back of the building was a woodshed, a coal shed, and an outhouse.
Today, Ingomar Elementary School (IES) is a state-of-the art, fully air-conditioned facility for students in grades K-5, featuring 21 classrooms; a library; an art room; a music room; a multi-purpose room that serves as a gymnasium, an auditorium and a cafeteria; and the latest in educational technology. This year 456 children attend IES, where Principal Paul Chmara, Ph.D., leads a staff of 33 motivated and caring teachers.
This year they will be celebrating the amazing stories and opportunities that have carried their school and community through 100 years of learning together. The kick-off for this celebration was held at the annual Back-to-School Picnic, where parents and students played games reminiscent of turn-of-the-century activities and enjoyed a large three dimensional cake designed by Dr. Chmara.
The history of IES parallels the growth of the North Hills. In 1916, the schoolhouse was expanded to four rooms to accommodate the consolidation of several McCandless one-room schools: Willoughby, Logan and Walters. By 1959, the school was expanded to ten rooms due to additional population growth in the area. However, in December 1960, a fire broke out in the oldest frame portion of the building, which destroyed the original portion of the structure.
“The community rallied around,” said Dr. Chmara, “and rebuilt the school. Upon completion of the renovation in 1960, it was actually expanded to 12 rooms.”
The District invested in a major renovation of IES in 1999, when renovations included a reconfiguring of the building to include a new library, an art room, a music room, two new class rooms, the multi-purpose room, a new kitchen, the stage, HVAC and new electrical, and an upgrade of the building shell.North Allegheny School District Museum Curator, Joe Bullick, has a special interest in IES. He attended school there as a child and returned later as a custodial employee before moving on in his career with the District. As a life-long resident of the North Allegheny School District, Mr. Bullick has a unique understanding and perspective of the community's investment in this school and the many wonderful people who have passed through its doors. Mr. Bullick has created a special display of artifacts from the NA Museum that will be housed at IES during the 100th Anniversary Celebration.