Community History – Bromley – Bromley Public School

Bromley Public School

The exact date of the establishment of the Bromley Public School is in question. One source indicates that the system began in 1863, however, this source has not been confirmed. A history of the City of Bromley does state that the first school was housed in the paint store of H. Hackstadt.

Bromley Public SchoolBy 1893, the citizens of the town realized that a more modern building was necessary. At that time, Mr. John Rohman donated a lot on Shelby Street for a site as a new school. The town purchased two adjoining lots. On these lots, a small brick schoolhouse was constructed. The building contained a central entrance flanked by classrooms on either side. A small belfry also topped the building.

The small district relied heavily on local taxes to support the school. In May 1916, the school was closed early due to a lack of funds. At that time, nearly 200 students were enrolled. The faculty consisted on four teachers. A description of the school building in 1922 noted that the building contained four classrooms.

Bromley never sponsored a high school program. A number of Bromley students attended nearby Ludlow High School, but were charged tuition for the privilege. In 1920, a number of residents filed suit to force the district to offer high school courses. The suit was struck down by the Kenton County Circuit Court.

The issue of a high school was again raised in 1936. State officials mandated that every independent school district provide a high school curriculum. Bromley school and city officials were faced with three options: finance a high school, merge with the Kenton County District, or merge with the Ludlow Independent School District (This last option also required merging the two cities of Ludlow and Bromley). A majority of Bromley citizens favored the option to merge the cities and school districts of Bromley and Ludlow. Bromley town officials officially requested that they be annexed by the City of Ludlow. The city council of Ludlow, however, denied the request. The Bromley Independent School District ceased to exist in September 1936. Bromley children continued to attend elementary school in the old Bromley School. High school aged residents were assigned to the new Dixie Heights High School in Edgewood.

A new Bromley Elementary School was built in 1950 by the Kenton County School District. The new structure was located at the northwest corner of Boone and Harris Streets. This building was remodeled in 1962. Children from Bromley, and sections of Villa Hills attended the school.
The population of Villa Hills grew quickly in the 1980s and 1990s. Members of the Kenton County School Board began planning for a new school in Villa Hills that would replace Bromley Elementary. Bromley residents protested the plan, but due to their small numbers were not successful. In 1992, the new River Ridge School began operation. Bromley students were then bused to River Ridge, ending nearly 130 years of public school education in the city.

Kentucky Post, May 5, 1916 and p. 1, April 1, 1920, p. 1; Kentucky-Times Star, September 9, 2936, p. 1 and September 10, 1936, p. 1; Reis, Jim, Pieces of the Past (Kentucky Post 1991) p. 89-90.

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