By Linda Pollock/Assistant news editor
Eastern’s College of Education plans on combining the past, present and future of education on this campus. The Granny Richardson Spring School was moved to Eastern from Estill County in 1976, and is in need of some tender loving care.
The schoolhouse, originally built in 1900, is falling apart.
The building is leaning and has to be propped up. Tom Bonny, associate director of the Southeast/South Central Educational Cooperative at Eastern, said that groundhogs have gnawed holes in the side of the building and that the siding is rotting.
The College of Education plans to raise the $50,000 needed to restore and relocate the building and artifacts.
The college is hosting a benefit at 6 p.m. Sept. 16 in the Keen Johnson Ballroom.
The event will include dinner, Carl Hurley, “America’s Funniest Professor,” and live bluegrass music from Homer Ledford and the Cabin Creek Band. Tickets are $50, all of which will go toward the restoration project.
Bonny hopes that this fundraiser will generate more than $10,000. They are also looking into grant money for the remainder of the funds.
The one-room schoolhouse became part of Eastern “in an effort to help preserve a small portion of our heritage,” Bonny said. “The little school represents a part of our past.”
When the one-room schoolhouse first came to Eastern, some professors occasionally held class in the building for education majors.
Also, public school students came to visit the school as a field trip, and many others like to see firsthand, the setting in which people of the past spent their school years.
When asked why the College is restoring the little school, Bonny had a direct answer.
“If it is worthy of preserving, and there is a great number of folks in Madison, Estill and other counties who feel strongly that it is worthy, then it needs to be maintained and also relocated to an area of campus where it can be used.”
As early as spring of 2004, the schoolhouse may be relocated to the area in front of Mattox Hall, which will become the College’s administrative offices.
This way, the past (one-room schoolhouse), the present (Model Laboratory School) and the future (College of Education) will come together.
“This is what higher education is all about,” Bonny said.
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