Pinora Township looking into expense of fixing historic school

PINORA TWP. — During the Pinora Township meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 5, board members further discussed what role the township will or will not take in preserving the historic Stowe School.

The school, which is on Deer Lake Road three miles north of U.S. 10, was recently donated to the township by property owner Steve Anderson.

Trustee Sid Woods has been heading up the efforts to look into roofing repairs for the building. Licensed contractor Edward Wanner gave an estimated price of $2,300 to place a steel roof on the building and to replace a rotted beam with treated wood.

“With repairing the roof and the rotted beam, the building could last 100 years even if other repairs weren’t made,” Woods said. “We need to act quickly, because buildings deteriorate rapidly when the roof leaks. It would probably be cheaper to make these repairs than to demolish the building.”

Supervisor Victoria Dennett said the board would like to get a second opinion. They will hire licensed contractor Dwight Gingrich $100 to assess the building by the next township board meeting.

Pinora Township Treasurer Don Davorek suggested Woods should see if there is interest among township residents to preserve the building.

Board members also said a GoFundMe page could be set up to raise money and grant funding might be a possibility.

In the week following the meeting, Woods spoke with Virginia Parker, who attended Stowe School as a child.

“Virginia is 94 years old, and as far as she knows, she is the last person surviving who attended Stowe School. The school shut down in 1939,” Woods said. “She said she would like to see the township fix the building.”

Board members will continue discussion about repairs to the school during the next township meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 2 at Pinora Township Hall.

Also during the meeting, Lake County Sheriff Rich Martin gave an update on the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

“We recently hired Alyssa Chapman as an officer for Lake County Animal Control,” he said. “She is tech-savvy and has established a website and Facebook page for the animal control. She highly promotes adoptions and has adopted out 24 animals since July. We haven’t euthanized any animals in quite some time, and are steering away from having to do so.”

Martin said the sheriff’s office is looking to recruit more reserve officers.

“We will have a short version of a police academy from January through April. You don’t have to live in the county to join the reserve unit. We provide training and the uniform. We have about 20 reserve officers, but would like to recruit 20 more,” Martin said.