Paul Road School History
Paul Road Elementary School opened its doors in September 1967. At the time, the school district was experiencing a tremendous surge in population and the Coldwater School, later renamed Walt Disney Elementary School, was also under construction. During the first few weeks, Paul Road Elementary School was not complete, and the staff was advised not to enter the gymnasium / cafeteria / music area. Coldwater School was not expected to open until January 1968, and so several homerooms and teachers slated for that building were temporarily housed at Paul Road and other buildings. In January 1968, the Coldwater students and staff moved into their building and the Paul Road students and staff were able to expand and use the whole building for the first time. Within five years enrollment had risen to 583 students in grades K-6 and space reassignments were necessary! Eventually the sixth-graders were moved to the middle school.
Dr. William Hagenlocher was the Superintendent of Schools and Arthur Shilen was appointed Principal of the building in July 1967. Paul Road’s architectural design was typical of the schools being built in the 1960’s. An excellent balance in physical characteristics has been achieved by minor remodeling such as folding walls, opening between classrooms, carpet areas, library enlargement, etc. Over the years a variety of improvements have been made to the building including additions to each of the wings in the 1990s. In 2016 the main entryway (including the main office, administrative offices, and nurse’s office) was renovated and made more secure. A conference room was added, and a parent drop-off and pick-up loop was created. Additionally, equipment was added to the intermediate playground.
In the mid-1990s, the Paul Road School and Family Association (PRSFA) and the Boy Scouts worked together to develop a Nature Center on the school’s property. This Nature Center is still in use today, featuring a trail, outdoor classroom, and pavilion which was built by Mr. Shilen, a few staff members, and parent volunteers.
In 2013, the Paul Road School and Family Association collaborated with the Town of Chili Recreation and Transportation Departments to purchase and install a primary playground. Later, in 2020, a fence was added to make the playground more secure.
Our current enrollment is approximately 421 students K-5. There has been a total of four building principals at Paul Road School. After Arthur Shilen, Peter Villa was appointed in 1995 and Peter Hens was appointed in 2006. The current principal, Andraya Cutaia began in 2022. Andraya Cutaia is a proud graduate of Gates Chili Central School District. Additionally, many of the school’s current teachers are Gates Chili graduates, such as Mrs. Shito, Mrs. A. Johnson, Mrs. K. Johnson, Mrs. Knight, and Mrs. Chatz. In fact, Mr. Fitzgerald and Mrs. Barr are former Paul Road Panthers!