A Remembered School Forgotten Once Again

Schoolhouse Being MovedSchoolhouse Being MovedOld Plaster and Lathe Being RemovedOld Blackboards Being RevealedDavid MelloanBell Tower Being InstalledSchoolhouse on Opening DaySchoolhouse Today

Out on the edge of the Anderson County High School property next to US127 sits a building that was once remembered and brought back to life to only have been forgotten again.  This little white one room schoolhouse has been a curiosity for many residents who have moved here within the last 15 years.  Being right near the high school’s parking lot, the schoolhouse seemed perfectly positioned to be used by the school system as a living museum, but it has sat vacant, slowly rotting with paint peeling and its wood shingled roof leaking.  But it hasn’t always been this way.

Back in the early 1990’s, Don White, editor of the Anderson News at the time, had an idea to save and move one of Anderson County’s many historical one and two room schoolhouses and turn it into a museum dedicated to the subject.  With over 60 schoolhouses to choose from, he talked with then Judge Executive Jim Catlett about the idea, and they agreed on saving the old Glensboro School.  Having gotten support from the Anderson County superintendent of schools, they started scoping and planning the project.

At that point, the old school hadn’t seen a classroom of children for over 40 years.  Being built around 1900, the school served a number of notable residents including well known author and prominent lawyer in Lexington, William Townsend.  By the 1950’s, the old schoolhouse was put up for sale after the county built a new school in the area.  The schoolhouse then became a private residence, lost its bell tower, and slowly was forgotten in the history of Anderson County until it was rediscovered decades later.

By April of 1991, the plans were laid out and the public informed of the restoration project.  Fundraisers and donations were setup and $17,000 was raised along with an additional $10,000 from a grant by the Kentucky Bicentennial Commission.  With more than enough money to buy the building, the newly formed Anderson County Grade School Restoration Project Committee proceeded to buy the building and had it moved to its current location on December 12, 1991.  Throughout the following year, the exterior was restored with fresh paint and a new wood shingled roof.

But, the school was forgotten again.  Interest waned in the restoration project and the school sat half finished for another five years.  However, assistant superintendent at the time, David Melloan, spurred new interest in the project.  He recreated the original committee and started the interior restoration.  All the old and cracking plaster was removed, insulation and drywall installed, a geothermal heating and cooling system put in, and even a new bell tower with bell was installed.  By December of 1999, the schoolhouse was in tip top shape and officially opened.

After a couple of special events and even a historical marker erected dedicated to William Townsend, the school sat unused once again.  Just a short time after the restoration, no one could be found to keep it open for public tours or field trips for students.  And now, according to current superintendent, Sheila Mitchell, a number of the key people involved in the project have passed away and no one else has stepped up to continue the work.

So now, the old Glensboro School, which was fully restored just a decade and a half ago, sits vacant again.  The old desks acquired for the museum project are pushed aside and tarps are laid out stopping leaks from the roof from ruining the floor.  The old blackboards are peeling and ceiling is slowly caving in from the leaks.  The work, effort, and funds from our community used to fix the school are slowly disappearing.

But, there’s still hope.  Superintendent Sheila has reached out to the community for help.  Since the school board doesn’t actually own the building only the property it sits on, they legally can’t fix the school.  But she is reaching out to community members who might be interested in fixing it, restoring it back to what it was and finally turning it into its original purpose as a way to teach students and adults on the history of Kentucky and Anderson County schools.

If you are interested in helping with the project, please contact Sheila Mitchell by November 27th at Sheila.mitchell@anderson.kyschools.us or 839-3406.  Historical photos courtesy of Anderson County Schools.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrPin on PinterestEmail this to someone
Posted in History & Heritage, School & Education, Senior News.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.