Every once in awhile we win one. The last time I photographed Kage School, I figured it was only a matter of time before the cracked walls would come tumbling down, taking with it a progressive school that educated area children for 112 years. Then, I saw a small notice in the paper that Rick Hetzel had bought the property and was going to rehab it.
Fred Lynch shot a photo gallery of the early stages on March 24, 2014. (He’s a real photographer who has to answer to an editor, so he went to the trouble of lighting the interior. I just wing it with available light.)
Will be used as rental apartment
When I got into town, one of my first stops was at the school, where I was lucky enough to run into Rick, who said he was turning it into a rental apartment. I was glad to hear that it was going to be used for an actual purpose instead of becoming a gift shop or mini-museum. Rick is going to keep as many of the original fixtures and furnishings as possible, he said.
He reminded me a bit of Chad Hartle, who took the old Schultz School and turned it into Schultz Senior Apartments, a textbook case of turning a white elephant into something the community can be proud of.
Kage School photo gallery
Here are photographs I shot on April 2 and May 2 of the work in progress and the men doing it. Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move through the images.
5 Replies to “Kage School Rehabilitation”
Read about the history of Kage School when it marked a century in 1954 with a Frony photo:
I can’t wait to see the finished product. Hope you can go back and photograph it, Ken.
Ken – thanks for taking the wonderful images of the Old Kage School. Work is progressing well given all of the rain we have experienced this spring and summer. The tuck pointing is completed and a new roof has been installed. Unfortunately, the old metal roof was in such poor repair we did not believe saving it would be a good idea for the long term. Weather permitting, we will begin the painting process soon. I have received many ideas for new colors for the Old School. I guess the person who painted the original brick a silver color experienced the same thing. Once the painting is completed and the windows installed, we will go inside for the interior remodeling. Stay tuned. Thanks again – hope to see you next visit.
Have been following your project with great interest. About 60 years ago my Mother was called to teach the last couple of months of a school year at Kage. I still remember my father and I taking her there each morning and attending the end of school program. That place had the most wonderful old school smell. The Kinders (he was on the school bd)lived across the road and took such loving interest in the place. Hope to hear when you have completed the restoration and can pay a visit.
Thanks for taking the pictures. It brought back some good memories. While I only spent my first two years there before going to the campus school in the third grade, I do remember it well. We cut through the Hunze property and across a farm field whose owner that I do not remember to get there from our Hopper road home. My sisters and brothers all attended there through the 8th grade before going to College High. The out house is still etched in my memory. Rick, Thanks for your efforts to restore it. The last time I drove by I was concerned about the future of it.