APPLEGATE, Ore. — A hundred year old tradition returns to the Applegate Valley next month when students at Applegate School get their historic building back for classes. After more than a year of work to give the old building a seismic overhaul, final work is now underway to finish the project.
Workers with Southern Oregon Education Service District are installing wiring and cables at the old Applegate school building for intercoms and Internet service. Cabinets are not yet installed and some plumbing work needs to be done before students and staff can move into the century-old schoolhouse. But it’s already generating excitement.
The project to retrofit the old brick building against a possible earthquake involved building a steel framework inside the school. You can see the beam in several of the classrooms. And outside metal plates against the brick show where it’s all tied together. Other work on the front porch provides safety features and now there’s a forced air heating and cooling system.
It’s been 12 years since there’s been students or almost any kind of activity in the old Applegate school building. It was used all those years as a storeroom. But now it’s back to it’s old self, reinforced and much safer than it ever was before. Although the window frames have been rebuilt and broken glass replaced, the upstairs windows in the old school still need to be retrofitted with double-pane glass. Former Applegate Principal Stephanie Allen says that will cost about a half million dollars and is a future project when money becomes available.