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Trudy Johnson's Fundraiser:

Restoration of Harding School

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Trudy Johnson


In 1976, Bertha Bieber, and her daughter, as a Bicentennial project, restored one of the few one-room schools remaining here on the South Dakota prairie. It was subsequently put on the National Historic Register. A few years later, it was re-roofed and painted. Two years ago, my mother encouraged me to get the school re-roofed and repainted again as it was in very poor condition. There had been a group of officers already set up so we had a meeting about the project. They said if I wanted to go ahead with it fine but I had to do the "leg-work". So I set up an account for the school at a local bank and then did research to find former students/teachers and sent out many letters requesting funds for the project. We received enough funds to repair the underlayment on the roof and to re-roof the schoolhouse and the outhouse with 50-year laminate shingles. We had enough left over this past summer to continue with the project. About half of the siding had to be replaced because of damage to the boards both from Mother Nature and rodents. After the boards were replaced, we had it primed twice and then painted with a very good quality latex paint. The window in the cloak room was taken out and repaired as we couldn't find the correct size double hung window. And because of extensive damage in the cloak room by rodents and rain, we decided to gut it and redo the the entire cloak room itself. The class room itself is in very good condition so we color-matched the wall and trim colors in there and painted the cloak room the same color as the class room, as it had been before. Because there was a lot of work that was unexpected we ended up borrowing money to finish the restoration.



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