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Residents meet to discuss saving Zullinger School building

March 03, 2001

Residents meet to discuss saving Zullinger School building



By DAN KULIN

dank@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - As a young boy, 79-year-old Ezra Fitz was a student at Zullinger School. Now he's trying to save the school building for future generations.

Fitz was among 14 people at the Waynesboro Historical Society on West Main Street Saturday to discuss plans to restore and eventually re-use the 90-year-old building.

The former school building is valuable because of its architecture and "it's a well-built building" that has special meaning "for the older people, especially," said Fitz, who attended first through eighth grades at Zullinger School.

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The former school is a two-story Colonial revival, brick structure 1 1/2 miles west of Waynesboro at the intersection of Pa. 16 and Wharf Road.

It was built in 1911 to replace one-room schoolhouses in Zullinger, Salem and Pleasant Hill, according to a history of the school by Jacqueline H. Barlup.

The building was given to the historical society by the Zullinger Community Association, which took over the building after the Waynesboro School District stopped holding classes there at the end of the 1961-62 school year. The community association leased out space in the building until about five years ago, and since then it's been vacant, said Fitz, who is also a board member with the association.

James Smith, co-chair of the historical society's preservation committee, said renovating the building is expected to cost about $250,000. The society will seek $115,000 in government grants, and try to raise $135,000 from the community.

The private fund-raising campaign will officially begin in early May and probably last two months, Smith said.

The society plans to seek grants from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Those grants are primarily matching grants, which means the society will have to raise the private funds before applying for the grants, Smith said.

If everything goes according to plan, the bulk of the renovation work will begin in the fall of 2002 and the restoration will be completed by the summer of 2003, Smith said.

Some repairs are needed sooner to stabilize the building. Smith said in two or three months the society hopes to fix the roof and close some broken windows through which birds are entering.

After restoration, the building could be used for office space, but the final decision on use of the building will be made later. The only requirement is that the building be financially self-supporting, Smith said.

"Most important is the preservation of the building," said Edward Miller, a historical society member.

"It's a unique structure. ... It's a well-constructed building," Miller said.

For more information about the renovation project and fund-raising campaign, contact the historical society at 1-717-762-1747.

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