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Bendersville Elementary School History

School Colors: Navy Blue and White

Mascot:  Bulldogs


History of Elementary Education in the Bendersville Area:

The earliest school in what is now Menallen Township was built near the present-day Messick's Farm Equipment store around 1786. This building was torn down in 1836 after classes moved to the Fairmont School located between Bendersville and Flora Dale.

During the 1840's, a two-room brick building on North Main Street was opened. Records show that in 1903, 54 students were enrolled there. This building was the oldest school still in use when the Upper Adams School District Jointure was formed in 1947. It continued to be used as an elementary school through the end of 1950. This brick building still stands today and has been converted into an apartment building.

On June 5, 1947, the six school boards of Arendtsville, Bendersville, and Biglerville boroughs, and Butler, Menallen and Tyrone Townships voted unanimously to become the Upper Adams School District Jointure. That fall, two-room schools were operating in Bendersville, Wenksville, and Locust Grove, with three grades to each room. Two years later, in the fall of 1949, the Wenksville school was closed and elementary classes reorganized. Grades 1 & 2 met at the Bendersville School, grades 3 & 4 at the Locust Grove School and grades 5 & 6 at the Bendersville Community Hall. Total enrollment was approximately 230 students. During this period, students were bussed to Arendtsville and Biglerville for lunch.

The Upper Adams School Board began seeking land to build a new elementary school for Bendersville. In November of 1949, a 4.5 acre site of orchard land at the top of Rampike Hill was purchased from Mr. Glen Etter for the planned eight-room unit. The following March, McCoy Brothers of Carlisle was awarded the building contract for a total cost of $139,336.00.

Construction began, with the building ready for occupancy in January, 1951. That spring, the Bendersville Borough Council purchased additional land adjoining the elementary site and deeded it to the Joint Board. This piece of ground runs from the current Bendersville Post Office to the school's front driveway area. It was the site of the physical fitness trail, which was installed during the 1982-1983 school year in dedication to it's Principal, Larry K. Kennedy. A few years later, the trail was dismantled.

During the 2007-2008 school year, Bendersville Elementary School added an upper body, commercial-grade, playground estimated around $10,000.00. Bendersville Elementary School recognized the following contributors for their generous donations toward the playground: The Upper Adams School District, Bendersville Elementary PTA, Upper Adams Jaycees, Knouse Foods, Cadbury Beverages, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Upper Adams Lions Club, Richard E. Weidner Paving & Excavating, H. David Pitzer Trucking, American Legion, Cohen Produce, Adams County Nursery, Mike & Ann Showers, Rice Fruit Co, Dr. Donald Stoken, and The Robert C. Hoffman Charitable Endowment Trust.

Five year later, during the 2012-2013 school year, Bendersville Elementary School purchased two Miracle Recreation Arch Swings with 16 seats to provide a wider variety of physical activity to better meet the needs of the children at school and in the community at the cost of $6,967.00 plus an installation fee of $700.00. The Margaret Trew Cline Foundation, Sharon Magraw and Mary Sue Cline generously gave $6,967.00 towards the project.

As of June 2020, the building will no longer house Bendersville Bulldog students. Arendtsville and Bendersville schools will merge into one unit at the site of Arendtsville Elementary School. We will dearly miss all the parents, children, and former staff who have been part of our bulldog family over the years!