GLENWOOD SPRINGS — The 106-year-old Little Red Schoolhouse at Canyon Creek will have new foundational support, thanks to a state grant that was recently awarded.
According to Shannon Pelland, finance director for the Roaring Fork School District, the Colorado Historical Fund grant for $37,338 will be combined with about $15,000 in money raised by the Little Red Schoolhouse Club.
The funds will be used to rebuild the foundation under the wooden, one-room schoolhouse structure that was originally built in 1907.
The schoolhouse, located five miles west of Glenwood Springs at Canyon Creek, is still owned by the school district, but is leased to the separate club organization which maintains it and uses if for community events and gatherings.
“We received an assessment grant for the building about six years ago, which is the first step in the process [for a construction grant],” said Pelland.
“The biggest concern that came out of that was the foundation,” she said of the original sandstone cobble foundation that has been gradually deteriorating. “The structure was determined to be in excellent condition, but we were concerned we might lose it because of the foundation.”
This was the second attempt to go after state historical grant funding to make the repairs, Pelland said. The actual work will not begin until next spring, she said.
The project will involve raising the building off the foundation, pouring a new foundation and replacing the sandstone facade to replicate the historic structural design.
Canyon Creek resident Violet Mooney’s late husband Earl Goodsell spearheaded the effort to arrange a lease with the school district to take care of the building after school consolidation in the 1950s shut down all the old one-room schoolhouses.
“After it closed and the children all went to Glenwood Springs for school, the vandals attacked and shot out all the windows,” said Mooney, whose son Gary Goodsell attended school at the Canyon Creek school.
“My husband was up in arms about that, so we gathered up the neighbors and went to the school board and got them to sign a lease so we could look after it,” she said.
Mooney welcomed the news that the grant had been obtained to fix the foundation, which will allow the group to continue holding functions at the schoolhouse.
“We have quite a little group here still who supports it, keeps the building safe, the bathrooms working and the lights on,” she said. “We meet for a potluck supper once a month, and have a dance, and we just had a wedding reception there for 75 people.
“It’s also been freshly painted inside, so it looks very nice,” she said.
“After it closed and the children all went to Glenwood Springs for school, the vandals attacked and shot out all the windows.”