Remember the old brick building?

District Office

History of the Central Point School

The Central Point School, until recently used as classrooms for elementary grades, has undergone a remodel as part of the recent construction bond process, and now houses the administrative offices for the district. The location of the school is on the lot set apart in the town plan for it's educational building. The continued use of the school, perhaps Central Point's finest building, and it's viable use as a center for business and instructional functions, will be of immeasurable value in Central Point's efforts to maintain its individuality among neighboring communities in the Rogue Valley.

School District #6 was established in 1854. When the town plat was laid out in 1887, the school lot was set aside -- bounded by Ash, Bush, 2nd and 4th Streets. In 1888 a two-story wooden four-room school was constructed in the center of the lot. In 1906 the building was moved to the side to make room for a new school. The Central Point School, a brick structure, is unique in the community of Central Point, Oregon. Opened as a school in 1908, the building has been in continuous use since that date. It's size and location indicate the growth experienced by Central Point during the first decade of the 20th century. On January 7, 1906 a contract was let to C.H. Veghte of Ashland whose bid totaled $13,500.00. A heating plant was to be installed separately at a cost of $750.00.

On January 10, 1907 the school board formally accepted the new structure. The choice of brick for the original 1906 school indicates the concern, common at that time, to erect what was hoped would be fire-proof buildings. Exactly one year to the day later, on January 10, 1908, the new school burned. A defective flue was blamed for the fire that destroyed the pride of the town. The paper announced:

“Central Point experienced her first costly fire last Friday evening when the fine new schoolhouse burned to the ground. . . Several hundred people from town and surrounding county gathered to watch the pride of the town burn. The loss is $16,000 to the district. $10,000 is insured. All children's books and records burned also: The district will rebuild as soon as possible.”

Citizens voted a $10,000 bond issue to support the second school. By September 10, 1908 the paper was ready to report that the new eight-room school was complete. The concrete walls of the basement were described as several inches thick, the floor of the basement as cement. Each floor had four rooms; a library and principal's office was above the main entrance. Heating was to be provided by steam radiators. The basement was to be used for two large rooms for exercise, one for boys, one for girls. An extra stairway and entrance on the east side was provided for quick exit in case of fire.

The new school was opened for use immediately. Pictures and verbal evidence indicates that second school was built as nearly like the first as possible. Older residents of the community remember that the same bricks were carefully cleaned and saved for re-use in the 1908 structure. The school's imposing size, bell-tower and experience of two constructions indicate Central Point's consideration of the building's important position in town. Architecturally intact, the building reflects the prosperity and community pride felt in Central Point at the turn of the century.

This article consists of excerpts from the original application for historical building status and was compiled to appear in the Central Point Chamber of Commerce Visitor's Guide.

Last Modified 5/14/2009 12:17 PM