From Charles McGrath:
The first school in Vailsburg was a one room school house built in 1850 when this area was still part of South Orange Township. It was called Columbia School. It was located on South Orange Avenue near Boylan Street Pool (see 1881 Map of Vailsburg ). This building was used in later years as Charlie's Bike Shop. The building next store to it was ABCO Auto Parts Store.
Another school was built on Burnet Street ( Alexander Street ) in circa 1888 to replace the old Columbia School. This new wooden building was two and half stories high with several rooms and it was also called Columbia School. This new school had several classrooms. It could accommodate more students ; however, it soon proved to be to small for a growing population. This building was moved to 128 Brookdale Avenue, where it now serves as a two family house. It was replaced by a new Columbia School which was built in circa 1890 as a three story brick building ( Map). The footprint of this building is in the shape of a cross. This building is the front portion of the by the present day Alexander Street School.
In 1895 Vailsburg became an Independent Borough. Columbia School served the educational needs of the Borough of Vailsburg. In circa 1900 the school received another addition and it was renamed Burnet School (Map).
In 1905 the Borough of Vailsburg was annexed by the City of Newark. Many streets were renamed. Burnet Street was renamed Alexander Street; therefore, Burnet Street School became Alexander Street School.
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