Resources for Preserving Historic Schools

Douglas High School, Converse Co.
Douglas High School, Converse Co.
Photo: Supt. of Public Instruction Biennial Report, 1922
Alliance for Historic Wyoming
This statewide nonprofit preservation organization has a “Historic Schools” section of its website and can provide assistance in preserving historic schools.

One-Room Schoolhouse Center
Provides resources for those interested in learning more about early education in the United States and an excellent compilation of historical one-room school resources that are available on the internet.

Open Directory Project
Provides links to histories of various U.S. one-room schools.

National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities
The National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities presents a number of articles on the pros and cons of reusing historic schools. While the articles are written for education agencies, they present an interesting view of the benefits of preservation. Of special interest is Constance Beaumont’s article "Historic Neighborhood Schools Deliver 21st Century Educations", PDF Document which debunks the myth that historic schools cannot meet modern educational standards.

National Institute of Building Science
Information on preservation and modernization of historic neighborhood schools.

National Park Service: Preservation Briefs
Working with older buildings inevitably involves important decisions about how to treat historic building fabric. The National Park Service’s Preservation Briefs provide guidance on preserving, rehabilitating, and restoring historic properties. The Briefs are fully illustrated and easy-to-read. Administrators of historic schools can find information about cleaning, repointing, and removing graffiti from historic masonry (Numbers 1, 2, & 38); repairing roofs or selecting replacement roof materials (4, 19, 29 & 30); repairing historic wood and steel windows (9 & 13); adding on to historic buildings in an appropriate manner (14); and making sure historic buildings meet current building codes (3, 24, 32, 37 & 39).

National Park Service: Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties
The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties promote responsible preservation practices for historic properties. Each of the four treatments (Preservation, Rehabilitation, Restoration, and Reconstruction) is presented with basic philosophical Standards that guide that treatment and Guidelines to help historic building guardians make decisions regarding treatment.

National Park Service: The Good Guides
The Good Guides are tutorials and pamphlets developed by the National Park Service over the years to assist professionals, building owners, governmental agencies, and preservation organizations. Many have since been updated for use online and are presented at this website

National Trust for Historic Preservation: Historic Schools Initiative
The National Trust for Historic Preservation endorses using historic schools for modern educational facilities rather than abandoning them for new “big box” buildings. Their web site includes a number of popular publications, including Why Johnny Can’t Walk to School, which discusses the damages of sprawl and protecting historic neighborhood schools; and “A Roadmap for Saving Your School," case studies of successful school preservation projects in other states. It also includes "Model Policies for Preserving Historic School."

Preserving Pennsylvania's Historic and Neighborhood School Buildings
Provides example of public initiative to save and restore Pennsylvania's school building.

Saskatchewan's One Room School Project
See an interesting historic documentation of a one room school.

Save Our Land Save Our Towns
“Renovate or Replace? The Case for Restoring and Reusing Older School Buildings.”

Teaching with Historic Places: Historic Schools Day Through the Teaching with Historic Places program, the National Park Service, in conjunction with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, provides lesson plans that integrate National Register-listed historic places and local history. The Historic Schools Day lesson plans involve researching the history of local schools and education. Of particular interest might be The Freeman School, which uses a one-room schoolhouse in Nebraska to teach about the sense of community found in these icons of the settlement era

The History Channel
The History Channel provides annual grants for programs on exploring and preserving significant aspect of community history through its “Save Our History” grant program.

University of Wyoming American Studies program
Resource for names of other people and projects around the state who are dealing with the same problem.

Why Historic Schools are Important to Preserve
Smart Growth America's site discusses the role of schools and community design and convenience.

Wyoming Business Council Provides information on their Community Facilities Grant and Loan Program.

Wyoming School Facilities Commission
Provides information on procedures, rules, regulations and policies for the planning, assessing, financing, construction and maintenance of school buildings in the State of Wyoming. Access their 2005 Project Report Natrona County School District No. 1 (CHECK LNK).

Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office
Provides information on the National Register of Historic Places and information about the Historic Architecture Assistance Fund.

Department of State Parks & Cultural Resources