In 1889 the Upper and Lower districts of Franklin united informing a high school department. It was held on the first floor of the Passaic Avenue School, a two-story frame structure built in 1849.
With the rapid growth of our town, however, it was thought that a new school with a campus should be erected. The land between Chestnut and New Streets, Franklin Avenue and Vincent Place was purchased. In 1934 a plaque was installed in the lobby, of what is now the John H. Walker Middle School, that reads: "[The Board of Education of Nutley's] clear judgment, vision and foresight were responsible in a large measure for the acquisitions of school house sites and erection of buildings geographically situated to meet the future growth and development of this community." These visionary men are responsible for our beautiful campus-like location.
The first of the three sections of Park School, the former junior high school and our present high school, was built in 1894. It housed the high school after the fire until 1907 when an exact duplicate of the first unit was added to it and the high school was moved to the third floor. Again, in 1923, an addition was made to relieve the grammar schools, senior high students going in the morning and junior high school students in the afternoon.
Finally, in 1925, a decision was made to erect the Nutley High School with accommodations for 750 students. On October 15, 1927, it was opened for occupancy.
In 1956 Park School was renovated. Then, in 1959, because of the crowded condition in Nutley High School, it was decided that the high school should be moved to the renovated Park School, or Junior High School, which was located between Booth Drive, New Street, Franklin Avenue, and Vincent Place. The Junior High School, consisting of grades seven and eight, moved to the high school building, now renamed the John H. Walker Middle School.
In 1963 the language wing was opened. The final additions to the high school were opened in 1970, the auxiliary gym and three floors of classrooms in the northeast corner of the building now known as “The Annex.” There have been many updates and improvements made to the high since the 1970 addition, the last substantial renovation being the state-of-the art science wing completed in 2005.