VILLAS — The Fishing Creek School, once a one-room school house that was constructed by Civil War veterans in 1888, will open its doors again to a new generation on Oct. 12 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The grand opening of this historic school house, the last one-room school house in Lower Township, will mark the rededication of the school for both educational and community use.
Fishing Creek School served as the only school in the area until 1921 when some students were sent to the Cold Spring Academy. Supplanted by larger schools, it was sold at auction in 1926 to the Leckey family and converted it into a three bedroom summer home until the 1990s. At that time, the Leckey family wanted to preserve the school’s heritage as an historic building and helped get it placed on the National and State Register of Historic Places. In 2002, the school was purchased by the State Green Acres program and leased to Lower Township for a 20-year period.
During the time the building was owned by the state, it fell into disrepair. A group of volunteers, the Friends of Fishing Creek School, decided to organize and raise money to save a vital part of Lower Township’s past.
“Thanks to all the supporters and donors, this little old school has a grand new birth,” Deputy Mayor Norris Clark, who founded the Friends of Fishing Creek School, said of the grand opening celebration.
“It is part of our history,” Clark added. “It shouldn’t be left to ruin when there is so much that the building can offer the community.”
An approximate $20,000 was raised through the volunteer group’s fundraising efforts to help renovate the school. Township Grants Coordinator Colleen Crippen was able to obtain a Small Cities grant to further restore the school and make it handicapped accessible, Clark said.
Clark said the Lower Township School District was interested in using the building for what it was originally intended, education. He said it would be a place where the Elementary school district could conduct early childhood education programs to prepare families with preschool children to prepare for school. Clark also said the school house would be an important community meeting place, as well as a venue for cultural events like art shows, exhibits and possibly even weddings and other events.
To learn more about the Fishing Creek School or how you can help, visit www.fishingcreekschool.org.
If You Go: Tour the newly renovated Fishing Creek School, a cultural, educational and community center, on Oct. 12, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. located at 2102 Bayshore Road. Complimentary pizza and refreshments are available.
The following release was received from the Township of Lower.