In 1805, the Maryland General Assembly appointed a commission to raise money for a school lot and a fire engine for Rockville. The Rockville Academy was chartered and authorized to hire teachers in 1809. In 1812 and 1813, a number of lots were purchased on Jefferson Street, and construction of the original rectangular brick Federal style building was completed in 1813. Tuition was $10 a year, and students obtained room and board elsewhere.
The academy faced Jefferson Street and was five bays long with interior chimneys at either end. The building contained only classrooms. Thirty to 60 young men were enrolled annually, some of whom attended seasonally when farm work was light. They received a secondary school education. The academy was one of two secondary schools in the county.
Rockville Academy continued in the original building until 1890 when it was replaced by the present Queen Anne style school designed and built by Rockville builder Edwin West. Female students were first admitted in 1912. From 1917 to 1935, it housed the Rockville public elementary school for grades 1-3 and later, the Library Association. The building was vacant, deteriorated, and threatened with demolition when it was purchased and renovated for office use in 1980. The City of Rockville purchased the surrounding land with Project Open Space funds for a public park.