Fundraiser to Save Historic School Building

WEATHERLY -- A group trying to save a historic building in Carbon County is gaining momentum.

The annual End of Summer Festival in Weatherly provides a chance for family fun before school starts. This year, the community also has a chance to help save a historic building.

The 115-year-old Mrs. Charles M. Schwab School closed in the ‘90s. When the building started to deteriorate, the school was sold by the borough.

“Everything we’ve done so far is really culminating up to this event here,” said Brian O’Donnell.

O’Donnell is part of a group that formed in May to raise money to buy back and restore the old school building, hoping it can once again be put to good use in Weatherly, perhaps as a community center.

This weekend-long festival is the first official fundraiser for the "Save Our School" effort.

The group set up a booth and is manning the bounce house.

“We had people all over our booth. We had a lot of donations, a lot of pledge letters given, a lot of t-shirts sold. That’s all money that goes directly towards purchasing the school that is the symbol of our town,” said O’Donnell.

Half of the proceeds from the tickets sold will go to the “Save Our School” fund. While it may not seem like much, each bit is chipping away, a step closer to the potential of saving the school building.

Shane Moran attended the end of summer festival and is among those who have come out to support and pledge a donation as well.

“I think the chances are really great. There’s a big steam train. We’ve got a lot of steam going in that train and a lot of people are helping through pledges and just flat donations,” said Moran.

Michele Gerhard also donated money to the cause and her time by helping at the fundraiser.

“When this opportunity came up, they started talking about trying to get it back. I was like, 'Oh, we have to do this.’ I tried to get as many people as I could,” Gerhard said.

She once went to school at the old and historic building.

“We will be doing fundraisers continuously so we can get this building.”

The Mrs. C. M. Schwab restoration group won’t say how much it has raised so far because it is negotiating with the bank on a price for the school building, but between this fundraiser and pledge papers that were mailed out, the group does believe it is on its way to saving the school that is a part of the fabric of Weatherly.