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Freehold Borough acquires Court Street School from Monmouth County

FREEHOLD – Municipal officials have taken action to acquire a historic school in Freehold Borough.

During a meeting on Dec. 6, Borough Council members authorized the acquisition of the Court Street School and grounds at Court and Rhea streets. Municipal officials intend to use the former school as a community center.

The Court Street School property was previously owned by Monmouth County. Discussions regarding Freehold Borough’s acquisition of the site had been ongoing since 2020.

As stated in a resolution, the property was purchased from the county for a nominal amount. As the owner of the site, Freehold Borough will be responsible for maintaining the parcel.

The Board of Trustees of the Court Street School Education Community Center is responsible for operating the property under a long-term lease.

According to the Court Street School Education Community Center, the school was constructed in two phases between 1920 and 1926.

Freehold Borough’s African-American children in kindergarten through eighth grade were educated at the Court Street School during a time of segregation in Freehold Borough’s public school system.

During World War II, the Court Street School served as an air raid shelter and as a ration station. The building reopened in 1949 as an integrated school for kindergarten and first grade pupils. The school was closed in 1974.

The former school now operates as a community education and historical center.

The Court Street School Education Community Center was formed in 1990 to restore the school for use as an education community center and to preserve it as an African-American landmark.

In 1995, following a significant effort by supporters of the local landmark, the Court Street School was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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