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Granville Corner School Resource Center, Granville, VT: 2024 Preservation Award

There are certain structures in small Vermont communities that telegraph long held values: hard work, sense of place, community connections. The classic Corner School building in Granville is that kind of building. 

One of the few Vermont one-room schoolhouses still open to the public, the Granville Corner School was actively used as a classroom until 1948 and then as the town library into the 1990’s. This building had fallen into disrepair by the time the nonprofit Corner School Resource Center acquired it from the town in 2012.

Initially, stabilization and the structural integrity of the building were the group’s top priorities. From clearing out fifty years of library books to patching the roof and shoring up the crumbling foundation, they tackled the unglamorous grunt work, almost entirely through selfless volunteers. The process was slow and sometimes dispiriting. The needs were great and finances tight.

Then in 2019, the group’s efforts began to pay off. A small grant provided a Building Condition Assessment, enabling a concrete path forward in the building’s rehabilitation. Other grants soon followed for a new foundation and sills, the restoration of the magnificent twelve original windows and installation of two new entry doors, a heat pump, public high-speed internet, ADA access and upgraded electricity, and custom storms and interior window treatments. And remarkably, volunteers continued to contribute tens of thousands of in-kind dollars through cleaning, painting, carpentry, architectural designs, pro-bono legal advice, marketing, and more.

In 2021, the Corner School Resource Center was officially dedicated with a public celebration that included food, storytelling, live music and the raising of a Vermont State Historic Site Marker. 

For the last two summers, the group has offered dynamic programming in this town of only 301 people, including naturalist workshops, an annual community art show, a popular course in memoir writing, the debut of a documentary about Granville hill farmers, and the launch of a children’s literacy program. Plans are afoot for a week-long children’s day camp and classes in art appreciation, writing, and nature.

Transforming this historic school building into a generative public space has revitalized community connections and offered cultural enrichment to an underserved population. The work of the Corner School Resource Center demonstrates that small steps, carefully taken, can revive the small-town values that have been there all along.

Preservation Award to:

Corner School Resource Center of Granville 

Mike Eramo Masonry 

Ronald Millard, Past President of CSRC

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