What's the Story Behind Sliney School?

Sliney School was built as Branford High in 1929. What is the history of the building, who is John B. Sliney, its namesake, and what are your memories of the place?

There's trouble at . As editor  , the building is not meeting the needs of the elementary school that now resides within its walls. Built in 1929, the building used to serve as Branford High. Now named after John B. Sliney, the elementary school is struggling to make use of a building that, while it has a lot of charm, also has a number of hazards for current students and a number of hurdles for staff and faculty to overcome.

After filling out Nicole's poll (attached to this story below) on what you think should be done with the building, let me know what you know about the school? Right now, 42 percent of readers think the school should be rebuilt; 35 percent think it should be renovated; 14 percent say turn it back to the town; and 7 percent say, 'Do nothing. The school is fine as it is.' 

Were you a student when it was Branford High, or in its early days as Sliney? Already there's some chatter on the Growing Up in Branford Facebook page about memories of Sliney when roller-skating was held in the gymnasium on the weekends.  

How many schools have resided inside those walls? 

And just who is John B. Sliney? He's come up in a number of articles for this column, and I'm glad to get the chance to explore his biography a little further!

SolarPete September 06, 2012 at 12:52 PM
From what I fisrt found was they had to remove 2 homes from the area to put in the school The map I looked at was dated 1905. I went there in 7+8 grades My home room was down stairs with Mr Peck. I only remember him due to being a Marine and he helped me along in my time there. I remember shop and making things out of metal. WE used Hammer Field and the community house for anything sports. When we had storms Hammer Field flooded and it was fun riding the bike through it on the way home. I think we took a bus there but not sure as we could walk home every afternoon. It was cool for me knowing I was going to a school where my mom went to high school there. Oh how those walls could talk the stories they would tell.
A. Doyle September 06, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Both my kids attended this school one of which still attends. I love this school and it's history. I think it just needs some updating.
Sue Johnson September 06, 2012 at 07:59 PM
I was in the first class at the Sliney School when it reopened in the late 1970's. I was there for 4th and 5th grade. I remember Mrs. Tisko wa the principal and we used Hammer Field for recess. John Sliney was the first selectman of Branford around that time. I haven't been inside in decades, but I would say to just renovate the building to bring in up to code.
Scooter H. September 06, 2012 at 08:55 PM
Use this as an disaster as a shelter for homeless men and women only but have women one side and men on other floor or use it as a disater such as an hurricane or someone lost there home as an fire or got evicted from the apartment and help budget there momey for there expensives and management them to stay sober and if this becomes a homeless shelter no one should in wet they shouldn't be smoker or drunk and if they have pets should be only for one or two cats fixed,not turn away if the cat claws not clip cuz the should have special vetarinary for them if they get sick,etc. Thank you for my concerns SLH, Mittens,and HAM. Please people I hear your feedback from everyone...
Marcy Alexander September 07, 2012 at 01:12 AM
John Sliney was a long-time 1st Selectman of Branford for most of the years when I lived there. I went to Sliney when it was Branford Junior High school, for 7th and 8th grade. But my older sisters attended this school as Branford High School in the late 1950s and early 1960s. I loved the smell of the auditorium with the wooden slat floors, varnished and polished to a high gloss. I had the best teacher in this school: Mr. Arthur Kajabosch (sp?). He taught 7th grade math and showed the glory and the beauty of mathematics to all! I was profoundly influenced by him. Also had my first French class - and I remember how much I loved learning a new language!
Sheri Burns September 07, 2012 at 11:42 PM
I was there in 8th grade in 1964, as a junior high , a transplant from the south and Catholic schools, and I could sit next to boys !!! Can't remember the prinicipal but thought the building was awesome.
Betsy Boynton September 08, 2012 at 04:48 PM
I went to school there from 7th grade through 12th grade and gratuated from high school in that adutorium. There are so very many memories I have in that building I don't. Know where to start. It would break my heart to see that building go. Also my Grandson went there in grammer school. When I went there to see him I would get wrapped up in nostalgia of my years spent there.


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