Friday, October 3, 2008

Heights Consolidated School, Ballville Twp. Sandusky County, Ohio

Heights Consolidated School, Ballville Twp., Sandusky County, Ohio
(Elmer A. Whitney Collection)

Sandusky County, Ohio photographer Elmer A. Whitney took this picture of the Heights Consolidated School students and staff in October 1919, only months after the "modern two-room building" was opened. The building, located on South Buckland, was the first attempt of Sandusky County citizens to provide better facilities for its students. While some objected to the cost and the school's distance from Fremont, others felt that the consolidation of 74 students from three rural schools - Glen Spring, Krugh, and Ballville Village - provided cost savings in maintenance and staff. Even though the building and land cost $17,000, the Board of Education believed that two teachers instructing grades one through four in a single structure was more cost-effective than three teachers teaching grades one through eight in three separate buildings.

Folding doors separated the classrooms. When opened, the two rooms were transformed into an "auditorium" large enough for community gatherings. The building boasted a 75-barrel cistern, movable chairs and desks, windows on either side, a library and reading room, piano, furnace, and two "lavatories equipped with soap and sanitary towels." Perhaps most appealing to the students was the two-acre playground

Even though its capacity was 96 pupils, the structure apparently was outdated within 15 years. During Sandusky County's building program, the school was replaced by Lutz Elementary, located across Buckland Avenue. E. H. Buchman bought the building and property. In 1936, the Edgar Thurston American Legion Post purchased the structure. Through the years, the American Legion added to the original two-room brick structure.

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