Cleora Public School is pleased to announce plans for a preservation project on the old school building. The old school building has sat vacant for over 4 years. In 2015 local patrons saw a need for a new school by supporting a bond issue that provided students with a new facility to learn in and ensure Cleora's high level of academic excellence continues. Since then the Cleora school board and administration have studied, researched, and received cost analysis on options for how to best proceed with the old school building. These efforts and measures are being taken with the most important thing in mind, which is the current and future students of Cleora and ensuring the funding is there to provide the very best opportunities and experiences. These changes will give our school an opportunity to continue to move forward efficiently and responsibly with our school finances.
In the summer of 2018, a group of people interested in trying to preserve the old building came forward to express their interest. Discussions continued through the next few months with the board agreeing to award a one-year lease in late October. This lease would allow the group to begin their efforts and became official at the end of January 2019. Upon conclusion of the lease in January 2020, the board met to review the situation and found the obstacles and needs to be insurmountable, therefore the lease was unfortunately not renewed. The board and administration have since revived their efforts to move forward before the building becomes completely unusable. A lot of deterioration has occurred over the past 4 years; therefore, the school is diligently taking action before it is too late.
Our goal, through careful consideration, is to be fiscally responsible and cut the ongoing expenses of trying to maintain a large deteriorating building, all while still preserving the proud memories our school holds. While we would love to keep the entire building, it just isn't feasible or financially responsible. By eliminating approximately 11,000 sq. ft. we will be able to efficiently utilize the remaining approximate 8,000 sq. ft. This space will include the fitness room and the old gym, which are regularly used by our students as well as the school community for family events, alumni gatherings, and other functions. An additional piece and the most exciting part to be kept and utilized, will be the main entry and front office space. This area will be remodeled and converted into the "Cleora School Museum." This space will house all the old graduate pictures, the wall mural, old lockers, trophy cases with trophies, a replica classroom with original wood flooring, along with other contents that hold historical value and memories.
We are excited about being able to keep a part of the front building, maintain its significance, conserve history, and protect memorabilia while providing a place for preserving and displaying the proud history of Cleora for many years to come. We plan to keep the majority of the stone from the building for multiple purposes, such as wrapping the old school bell, constructing a commemorative monument, and possibly wrapping a future school marquee. This will give us an opportunity to proudly display parts of the old building at different locations across our campus. In addition, we would like to give anyone interested a chance to take a "piece of history" with them by picking up a stone block from the building! We're thrilled about the opportunity this preservation project will give our alumni, current students, families, and our community. The project is scheduled to begin sometime in June.
Although it is a bittersweet time, we look forward to continuing the progress of Cleora School and maintaining its rich history and tradition at the same time.