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History, Part 2

By the 1980’s, the school complex was found to be obsolete and unsafe. The new Keizer Elementary School opened in 1987.


The Story of the Restoration

In 1985, a committee named "Preserve Keizer School" was formed to look into preservation ideas.

Since 1986, the Old Keizer School had sat empty as more modern buildings were built in the community. In 1988 the school property, once the core of the community, was to become a shopping mall. That meant the destruction of this historic 1916 building, the only historic public building in Keizer. That news jolted key local citizens into action to save the Old Keizer School. The new organization included the "Preserve Keizer School" group plus Westmoreland Garden Club and Keizer Art Association. This was the beginning of the Keizer Heritage Foundation.

The Foundation, a non-profit corporation, formed on October 10, 1988. They negotiated with Gaylen Springer, the developer of the new mall, to spare the school. At a cost of $15,600 the original 1916 portion (“The Old School”) was moved to Fernwood Park, located just behind the proposed shopping center.

As Schoolhouse Square developed, it blocked The Old School from view. As it disappeared from sight, the historic Keizer School disappeared from the community's plate of projects. Keizer Heritage Foundation proudly raised small amounts of money and started repairs. They did this through the sales of name bricks, spaghetti feeds, jazz concerts and Fourth of July feeds. They were determined not to go into debt. With this business philosophy, though, progress was very slow.…READ MORE


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