Harry F. Abate School opened in September 1972 and was named in honor of the late Deputy Superintendent of Schools. Mr. Abate served the Niagara Falls School District for many years as both a teacher and an administrator. He died in 1969.
This unique and innovative $4.8 million structure was dedicated on Sunday, February 18, 1973. The late State Senator Earl W. Brydges in addressing the assemblage expressed thoughts regarding the term “neighborhood school”.
“All of us appear to be wedded to the neighborhood school concept yet the ‘neighborhood’ is a relative expression. It can mean a few houses, a block, or all of mankind.
“This school now gives us a new significance because in the City of Niagara Falls, students, who only a few years ago would have gone to seven different schools, are working with one another in one building. It is a change for the better.”
Abate School was the first new elementary school construction in the downtown area since Tenth Street School in 1913. Designed by architect Mogen Hertz of the Cannon Partnership, the major contractor was Sicoli and Massaro, Inc. of Niagara Falls
The “open education” concept with provisions for individualized instruction and progression were features of classroom design.
In May 1976, the athletic field behind Abate School was name Herkimer Hendrick Athletic Field. It was dedicated to Myron “Min” Hendrick, one-time City Recreation Director, and Harold Herkimer, retired Director of Athletics for the Niagara Falls School District.