Community rallied for a community treasure
A project to restore the exterior of the historic Fossil Grade School Gym, has been completed, with funding from the Oregon Community Foundation, the Kinsman Foundation, the Bank of Eastern Oregon, the National Park Service through the State Historic Preservation Office, and numerous private donations. The gym was built as a WPA project in 1936, and is an outstanding example of architecture from that period.
The preservation effort was motivated in part by the need to deal with old asbestos siding and lead-based paint. The gym is still in use daily, by grade school kids, and it was important to handle these issues. Once an abatement firm dealt with these, much of the remaining work in painting and restoring the trim, was done by local volunteers.
by Bob Cramer
Fossil School District Education Foundation
This project was completed last year. It is an excellent example of the community coming together for a shared community asset. Being right on the main street and part of the school, it is a significant building both historically and today. The project also included listing the school and gym on the National Register of Historic Places. Initially, the renovation plan included replacing the historic siding, but upon removal of the asbestos, they found it fairly intact. Thanks to the people of Fossil for their great work for Oregon’s history.