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Thursday, October 14, 2010

OLD SCHOOL -- SMALL TOWN -- COMMUNITY MEMORIES -- RESTORE


FRONT VIEW OF PAINT LICK SCHOOL

FRONT INTERIOR ENTRANCE
WORK SITE

Paint Lick was considered a modern school in 1912 when the original four rooms were built to accommodate grades k-12 in the small town of Paint Lick, Kentucky. Constructed of brick in the latest two story school style it soon became too small, so over the years a few additions were added -- like the gym that was built in two sections. It served the community well over those years – until 1994. 

The high school grades part were moved to the nearby town of Lancaster in 1964. Then a beautiful school was built at the edge of town for the lower grades. The old school that sat in town joined the ranks of many of the old schools across the nation that were closed in the last several decades. 

As they closed,  these lovely old neighborhood schools became deteriorated  eyesores. For others, good fortune rained down on them as they were resurrected into living apartments, office structures, community centers and even turned into private schools. Towns found that restored schools with such uses contributed to the local economies.

LEFT OVERS FROM THE PAST IN OLD ALCOVE
GHOSTLY SCHEDULE OF THE PAST

ORIGINAL WOOD STAIRCASE
1912

In Paint Lick the old school was sold to a private individual and became sort of a flea market for about 12 years. Then a man stepped forward about four years ago -- to buy the school with a vision for studio apartments. He had previous experience in resurrecting a small office building to its former glory in the town of Berea, Kentucky. Jay, not his real name, has fire in his heart for old buildings and feels that we need them to know our roots. He follows all the National Register guidelines in rehabilitating buildings.
SHADOW WEAR MARKS FROM FORMER STUDENTS
ON OLD WOOD STAIRCASE
CLASSROOM  VIEW

I stepped into the old school last Saturday. The interior was in the throes of restoration. It’s a large building that requires slow deliberate work, much of what one cannot see like asbestos abatement.  Many of the old school interior elements were still hanging on. There were school secrets around every corner. Vintage school colors were still apparent on many surfaces. Wood floors, some refinished were eye popping in the multi -windowed classrooms. Histories of footsteps were pronounced on the old wood stair treads. Even one small blackboard still had class notes from long ago.
VINTAGE BLUE COLOR ON DOOR WITH
OLD AND NEW LOCKS
WORK IN PROGRESS

This school wraps up a man’s vision, student memories, town history and possibly in the future a new beginning for the Paint Lick school. 

21 comments:

  1. I love to see wonderful old buildings, like this school renovated and repurposed. Studio apartments are a wonderful idea!

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  2. What a beautiful place, Barbara. The old scuffed staircase is evocative. It must have been an enjoyable building to explore and find its secrets.

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  3. Wow, what a big project. I'm glad the building is being rescued. I love the second photo of the front door, and the cloakroom at the bottom. I attended a rather similar old school myself. It is still housing students in its updated form! There's a picture here. http://chatt.hdsb.ca/~cenps/

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  4. Willow -- I have noticed many old schools of the same age acting out as other uses. I feel like you do, that such buildings should be restored when the original use becomes outdated. -- barbara

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  5. barefootheart -- I went on the Central High site and saw the photo of the school you attended at one time. Very similar to the school that I wrote the post about. Nice that they have maintained it as a school. The quality of construction in these types of schools would be difficult to find in new construction. Thanks for the comments on my photos and also for stopping by. -- barbara

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  6. LiD -- I too love stairs that reflect the many folks that have tread upon them over the years. What thoughts were with them as they stepped up and down the stairway? Thanks for the comment -- barbara

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  7. Wonderful to know the school is being redone by someone so conscientious. I learned a few years ago that the school I went to for 12 years has been turned into senior apartments. All students go to a country school 10 miles away. I haven't been in the school since I graduated but I wonder if it was treated with anything like the care you describe at Paint Lick, KY. You've busy-ed my brain with this post.

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  8. June -- There is a school, not to from from me here in the country, that looks similar to the one on my post. It is slowly deteriorating -- broken windows and various ruble around it. Of course empty. Don't understand why some school districts leave their buildings to deteriorate or did they sell them off to private parties that are letting them go? Thanks for the comment -- barbara

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  9. Thought-provoking post, Barbara. There are a couple of similar school buildings in our little town...one on each side, to be more precise. Both once neighborhood schools, but now bandoned in favor of the "consolidation" that has taken place, leaving the kids to ride a bus forever. Where is the logic? Neighborhood schools offer regional approaches to education that the consolidated monstrosities never can. These old buildings--beautiful, by the way--are now deteriorating; it was rumored that someone was attempting to renovate one of them, but sadly, it has remained in degraded condition. With the current economic situation, I wonder what will happen to these kinds of old buildings...Sad.
    Elora

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  10. Thanks for dropping by my site and your comments. We have an old one room schoolhouse just down the road that we are working to preserve - such fun to delve into the past.

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  11. Nice that you are writing about a place I actually know about. So glad this school is being reworked and will have a real purpose. Old building have so much character and a lot to offer.

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  12. Elora -- yes, the idea of consolidation swept the country and micro schooling became macro . I believe it was for economic reasons? Certainly not for community reasons. These schools do languish and cause stress to the neighborhood as the eyesores taint the adjacent community. Unfortunate that you have two of these declining school buildings in your town -- yes, someones vision needs to coincide with dollars and in this economy that can be difficult. Thanks for the nice comment -- barbara

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  13. Chris --
    Wonderful that you are working on the one room school house! I'd love to see it as a post someday. Sounds like you are finding lots of history on the place. I had a friend years ago that renovated a one-room school house -- it was so enjoyable to visit her and feel the aura of history. -- barbara

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  14. Farmchick -- You say on your blog you are from Central Kentucky so I imagine we tramp the same highways. If you live near Paint Lick you are in a beautiful area. but really Central KY is all very beautiful. I'm wishing the best for the school to become studios. -- barbara

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  15. Barbara - Thanks for visitng my blog and for the compliment. The header picture, on my blog, is of my house/farm. And you are right, centraly KY is gorgeous, so let's not tell anyone!!!

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  16. I attended this school from grades K-8 and thoroughly enjoyed seeing your pictures. I haven't been in the school for over 15 years. I've always hoped something wonderful would happen to the building. Thanks so much for your heartwarming Paint Lick posts.

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  17. Anonymous -- thanks for visiting my posts on Paint Lick and leaving this nice comment -- it is a lovely small town. -- barbara

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  18. Barbara, thank you for updating us on the old Paint Lick Elementary School. I attended that school for most of the 1st grade and all of the 2nd grade back in the '80s, and it was old then. Still, I have vivid memories of the place, and of the many details you pointed out in the photos. I last saw it in 2004, when it had clearly seen better days. I'm glad they're refurbishing it now, though; it would be nice to see again. Thanks for sharing!

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  19. Thanks for stopping by with your comments on the Paint Lick school. Hopefully the owner will realize his dreams and bring a new use to the school -- barbara

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  20. I too attended this school from 1st -8th grade. What wonderful memories I have of the school/friends/teachers. The photos brought back so many great memories. So glad it is being restored. Paint Lick is a great place to grow up. Now maybe others will have the opportunity to experience this area. Thanks for posting!

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    1. A. -- School days always bring back memories -- Paint Lick surely had a nice school -- barbara

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