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In 1847

Three men, William Wentz, David Livergood, and Julius Billerback deeded to the school district a parcel of land, which is the site of the present gymnasium. On this site Penn Square School was erected. The original donators specified, however, that the school district must agree to a community hall being erected over the school building. Because of this provision, the wood frame building housed a school on the first floor and the Penn Square Hall Association, which administrated the use of the community hall, on the second floor.

In 1896

A new Penn Square School and Hall was built on the site of the first building. Julius Billerback again donated a piece of ground for "school purposes."

The new school was to be 40 feet by 60 feet with the school board building on the first floor and the Penn Square Hall Association building on the second floor. One of several interesting rules for the use of the hall was that the hall could be used free of rent by "any regularly ordained minister of the gospel and/or Evangelical denomination for the preaching of the gospel".

In 1923

The first of several sections of the present building was constructed. In 1929 six rooms were added behind this structure. A back wing, which housed the junior high school was built in 1936. The gymnasium/auditorium was added the same year on the site area and five classrooms were added in 1951 with the present complex being completed by the addition of eight rooms of the west wing in 1953.

In 1966

The school started in Penn Square Community Church on Hillcrest Avenue. This was the same church that met in the second community hall on this property until 1936. From the school's beginning the Penn Square Community Church provided the organizational structure for the school and rented its educational facilities to the school. Pastor John Garvin and Educational Director Marie Forsyth Riddle founded the school as Penn Square Christian Day School with 17 nursery school children. In 1969 Kindergarten was added, and in 1972, the board started the elementary school with grades one to four. By 1979, when grades five and six were added, the school rented two additional portable classrooms in order to completely house a student body of over 200. In the spring of 1980, recognizing that the school had outgrown the church's facilities, Penn Square Community Church gave the school permission to independently reorganize and relocate.

On July 1, 1980

The school was reorganized as the Penn Christian Academy, an independent, parent-run, nondenominational Christian School. On August 29,1980, the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas approved the agreement of sale of the Penn Square School to the Penn Christian Academy.


For nearly 161 years these grounds have been used for education and for nearly 127 of those years there has been a dedicated commitment to teaching young people the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For over four decades, Penn Christian Academy has educated over 2500 children in quality Christian academics and ethics. The merge of this school and property continues the heritage of faith and education on this site in East Norriton.

Penn Christian Academy continues to provide a non-denominational, Christ-centered education for children ages 3 through grade 8 on an 11-acre campus where exemplary academics, extra-curricular activities, and Christian values are taught in a peaceful, loving and kind atmosphere.


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