WIMER, Ore. — A year and a half after the historic Evans Valley Elementary School shut its doors, students are back on the Wimer campus. A group of Evans Valley parents and volunteers are working to turn the old facility into a community center that includes class rooms, and other resources.
When Evans Valley School closed in 2011, a lot of people thought this old bell would never ring again, but today, about 30 students from the Evans Valley Education Co-Op are attending classes here in what supporters hope is a revival of this 90-year old school facility.
“What we have out here is amazing because they do see what a treasure we do have and they really have worked very hard over all these months and still we have a lot more we need to do,” said Mysti Jacob with the Evans Valley Community Association.
The main school building needs work, especially on the roof. So for now, the annex houses classes for middle and high school age students. Younger age students are planned for later. Parents of these kids are happy to have this option.
“It’s gonna be a great community resource and I feel nothing but good is come of this,” said parent Tony Cullotta.
“We’ve all been just kind of a part of trying to come up with every sort of a thing or angle that we can do to make money and help each other,” said Robin Moulder.
The old Evans Valley Elementary School has been on the hill here for 90 years. When it closed almost two years ago, many local residents thought that was the end, but now its getting some new life thanks to the work of a lot of local volunteers.
“We worked 12 to 15 hour days to rehabilitate the facility, so we have new paint and we have the bathrooms fixed and we have the light fixtures fixed and the plumbing, and all of those things that go into making that facility useful,” said Julie Niles-Fry of the Evans Valley Education Co-Op.
For anyone interested in more information about their programs, the Evans Valley Education Co-Op is holding an open house at the school this Saturday, February 2nd from noon to 4 p.m.