PLACERVILLE – After nearly a decade of discussions, San Miguel County is now the owner of the historic Placerville School building, and with historic-structure renovations on the way, the deal paves the way for the building to become a multi-use community center.
The San Miguel Board of County Commissioners approved the purchase of the building from the Telluride School District for $80,000 at its June 20 meeting in Telluride. The purchase price is consistent with its appraised fair market value.
“The Telluride School District is pleased to see the integrity and purpose of the building remain true to its original intent as a community focal point that will continue to serve as a meeting house and community educational facility for years to come,” said Telluride School District Superintendent Kyle Schumacher.
According to San Miguel County Open Space and Recreation Coordinator Linda Luther-Broderick, the county purchased the building with Open Space and Recreation funds and a dedicated mil levy that includes funding for historic preservation. The county intends to restore the school to prominence as the centerpiece of the Placerville Park.
The building ceased being a school in the 1960s, but has been used as a community center hosting various gatherings including bible school, holiday celebrations, classes, funerals, political party meetings and antique markets. Luther-Broderick said in recent years the future of the historic building has been a concern for Placerville residents as well as the San Miguel County Historical Commission.
The Placerville School building is a one-and-a-half story, one-room school built in 1908. It housed an average of 20-30 students and two teachers in grades 1-8. The area’s school districts consolidated in 1962 and the students who attended the Placerville School were bused to Telluride.
Luther-Broderick said the schoolhouse stands in its original location and although it has suffered from neglect, it maintains integrity of design, feeling and setting. The building’s large windows and gabled roof are an example of an early twentieth-century vernacular schoolhouse architecture.
Preservation work is expected to begin in 2013.
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