The idea of a new school on or around the State Street area began when Fire Chief H.J. Montgomery spoke to the school committee and stated that the State Street School, on the corner of Hooker and Francis Streets, was in “deplorable condition”. He was concerned that there “is a grave danger of a fire” even though the outside walls were brick, the main structure was made of wood.
As plans began to build a new school, a petition was started to change the name of the State Street School to Sarah T. Haskins School, in honor of Miss Haskins who “resigned from the teaching service in this city in which she had been enrolled for over a half century”. The school committee thought that name was too long and instead voted to allow the name change to simply Haskins School.
Plans for a new school remained stagnant until 1920 when members of the school committee invited members of the city council to tour the Haskins School on Hooker Street to show that it was “unsuitable for school purposes and should be replaced by a new building.” Members of the school committee went on to say that “land owned by the Arnold Print Works (on State Street) would be the most desirable site for it” as it has “sufficient land” to include an athletic field and playground area. After viewing the old school and the proposed site for the new building, all agreed to proceed in building the new school.
Ground was broken for the new school on October 17, 1921 and work “progressed rapidly”. Three of the outside walls were made of “rough texture red brick” and the rear facing wall was laid with “common brick of North Adams manufacture”. The interior finish was “of North Carolina Pine” and plastered walls. The heating system was a “gravity return steam system…supplying primary heaters” in the ventilation system for “all rooms”.
The new building was completed in the spring of 1922 and was ready to accept students in September of that year at the cost of $95,000. Again, a petition was sent to the school committee to give the new school that name of “Sarah T. Haskins School”. This time the committee voted to accept the longer name.
The school ran with success through the 1960’s. Parent-Teacher groups organized student minstrels in the early years, helped sustain a skating rink with a warming hut in the 50’s and 60’s, and gave advice for various after school projects as well.
Through changing times in the 1970’s it came to pass that “the North Adams School Committee voted, with genuine regret, to close the Sarah T. Haskins School at the end of” the 1980 school term. In an attempt to keep the school opened the city of North Adams rented space in the building to the North Berkshire Child Care Committee, but that was too little to save the school.
After it ceased to be an educational structure, it continued to be used by the Monument Day Care Center. Today it is still being used by Child Care of the Berkshires.