East Marion Elementary School will host an event later this week to celebrate its 100th year as a Florida public school.
The 100-year celebration, which was rescheduled due to Hurricane Ian, will kick off at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, October 7 at East Marion Elementary School, which is located at 14550 NE 14th Street Road in Silver Springs.
According to Marion County Public Schools, the event will showcase the school’s beginnings in 1922 as a consolidated school that brought together students from several areas in the Ocala National Forest. Generation after generation of the same families received their elementary school education at East Marion.
The land for the original two-story wooden building was donated by J.A. Hicks, and the school was constructed by B.F. Mims of Anthony. Four large classrooms downstairs hosted elementary grades while one large classroom upstairs served high school students. The principal’s office and auditorium were also upstairs.
In 1928, two additional classrooms were added to the south end of the building – one downstairs for elementary grades and one upstairs for 11th and 12th grades. In 1932, the first lunchroom with a kerosene stove was added in a separate building.
A downstairs auditorium was added in 1936, and outhouses were replaced with indoor plumbing. A gasoline powered pumphouse provided running water, and the City of Ocala ran electric power to the school in 1939.
MCPS states that the school has evolved over the years with a bigger footprint and even more community impact. In 1949, East Marion School graduated its last class. After this graduating class, students attended Ocala High School.
A fire and a lunchroom explosion destroyed the original school building in 1973. A newly constructed school opened in 1974 and educated students in 1st through 8th grade until 1975, which is the year when middle school students were rezoned to Ocala.
In 2003, the school added two new eight-classroom wings for students in 3rd through 5th grade, a computer lab, and a conference room. Additional renovations to the existing facility that year included new air conditioning in the main building, new paint on the trim of the main building, and new carpeting in the Media Center.
Today, East Marion Elementary is one of the larger elementary schools in Marion County. Built to house over 730 students, the school currently has 620 students enrolled.
For more information, please contact East Marion Elementary School Principal Sarah Dobbs via phone (352-671-4810) or email ([email protected]).