Daily Updates

March 17, 2013

County’s last one-room school renovated

PERRY (AP) — Early on a recent Wednesday morning, Ellie Loudermilk stood alone in the middle of a one-room schoolhouse. She grabbed some cleaning cloths and wiped the wooden desks as she prepared for that day’s crowd.

“So this was like the first day of school for me,” said Loudermilk, a former educator and president of the Perry Area Historical Society.

It’s been decades since the first day of classes has been held at Springhill School. Now, thanks to a community renovation project, the last one-room school in Houston County has reopened for educational events. After more than four years of work, officials cut the ribbon at the tiny, white building behind the Houston County Board of Education office.

“It’s the last one-room schoolhouse in Houston County, so we wanted to save it,” Loudermilk said. “This is to preserve Perry’s history.”

The building was constructed in 1905 north of Perry off U.S. 41. In 1915, the school was valued at $700. Back then, it had one teacher, who taught 28 students, according to a Houston County schools news release.

The school closed in 1925 and eventually was sold to a former student, whose family lived in the building until a church purchased it.

Marjorie Daniel remembers family gatherings in the former school building. Her husband’s family lived in the building, and she had forgotten how small it was, she said.

The renovation “means a lot to me. I remember many, many good times,” Daniel said. “I’m so glad they got it back to a school.”

It has been a long process, mainly due to funding. The $25,000 project was funded by community donations, but garnering that money initially was a tricky task. The project began when the economy tanked in 2008, and people were leery of making sizable donations, Loudermilk said.

The project has been “exciting, tiresome, frustrating, overwhelming, but overall satisfying,” Loudermilk said.

Soon, businesses, organizations and individuals stepped up. The money started rolling in, and the work began. The historical society partnered with the board of education, which donated land where the school would be relocated.

“It’s just a natural fit for us to be part of (the project). We’re proud to be part of it,” Superintendent Robin Hines said. “It’s about the history — the history of education and the history of education in Houston County.”

Officials wanted to move the building to the site of the former Perry Panther gym, which was a legendary building in its own right, Loudermilk said. So, workers transported the school to a spot behind the board of education office near downtown Perry. At its new site, the refurbished building will be used for educational purposes, such as field trips, class reunions, musical performances, award ceremonies and storytelling.

But the project was not finished until individuals and organizations made some donations. Paint and lumber was donated, as well as some items that completed the room.

A potbelly stove stands in a corner; a chalkboard attaches to the wall; wooden desks and a wooden podium stand near the front of the room; candlesticks hang near the ceiling; and photos of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln cling to the walls.

A group of Morningside Elementary School students clustered in a corner of the room, waiting for a cue from the teacher to play their instruments — just like on the first day of school.

“Even though it took four-and-a-half years to get to today, I never had a regret about saving this building,” Loudermilk said.

Text Only
Daily Updates
  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors

    An Afghan government security guard opened fire Thursday on a group of foreign doctors at a Kabul hospital, killing three American physicians and wounding a U.S. nurse, officials said.

    April 24, 2014

  • Nevada rancher condemned for racist remarks

     A Nevada rancher who has become a conservative folk hero for resisting the federal government’s attempts to round up his cattle faced sharp criticism Thursday for racist comments published in a New York Times article.

    April 24, 2014

  • NRA seeks universal gun law at national meeting

    With concealed weapons now legal in all 50 states, the National Rifle Association’s focus at this week’s annual meeting is less about enacting additional state protections than on making sure the permits already issued still apply when the gun owners travel across the country.

    April 24, 2014

  • 10 Things to Know for Thursday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday.

    April 23, 2014

  • In Other News, April 23

    April 23, 2014

  • US weighs clemency for inmates jailed for 10 years

    The Justice Department is encouraging nonviolent federal inmates who have behaved in prison, have no significant criminal history and have already served more than 10 years behind bars to apply for clemency, officials announced Wednesday.

    April 23, 2014

  • High court tosses $3.4M award to child porn victim

    The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a plea to make it easier for victims of child pornography to collect money from people who view their images online, throwing out a nearly $3.4 million judgment in favor of a woman whose childhood rape has been widely seen on the Internet. Two dissenting justices said Congress should change the law to benefit victims.

    April 23, 2014

  • Airport security vulnerabilities not uncommon

    For all the tens of billions of dollars that the nation has spent on screening passengers and their bags, few airports made a comparable investment to secure the airplanes themselves.

    April 23, 2014

  • Deal signs bill expanding gun rights in Georgia

    Gov. Nathan Deal has signed legislation expanding where people with licenses to carry can bring their guns in Georgia.

    April 23, 2014

  • Indian film awards arrive in Tampa, Fla., but why?

    The so-called Bollywood Oscars have been held in Macau, Singapore, London — and now, Tampa?

    April 23, 2014

AP Video