By Luke Baynes
It was a long time coming, but the St. George Schoolhouse finally has a new home in the heart of town.
On Nov. 7, after months of permitting delays, the “Little Red Schoolhouse,” which was operational from the mid-1800s until 1965, was moved from a decrepit plot on the side of Vermont 2A to an open field adjacent to Simon’s Store and the St. George Town offices.
“It was really exciting, because we’ve waited since August,” said Williston resident Ginger Isham, who serves on the St. George Historic and Conservation Trust.
Yet even with the last permitting hurdle in place, Isham said the move itself was a long and painstaking process, involving the temporary shutdown of Vermont 2A as heavy machinery lifted and hauled the schoolhouse to its new location.
“It took a lot longer than I thought,” Isham said. “It was an all-day endeavor.”
The relocation of the one-room schoolhouse was spearheaded by Lori Ring, who serves as president of the St. George Historic and Conservation Trust, a 501(c)(3) established in 2008 to raise money for the schoolhouse project. She said that while the Nov. 7 move was fully paid for through funds in the SGHCT coffers, another $50,000 will need to be raised for renovations to the building.
Ring, who noted that the town plans to build a picnic pavilion in advance of its 250th anniversary celebration in 2013, said the moving of the Little Red Schoolhouse is the first step in the creation of a centralized town hub.
“It will become quite the little town center,” Ring said. “The town’s going to be developing, so it was a good way to set the Town Plan in motion.”
Check contributions to the St. George Schoolhouse renovation project can be made out and sent to SGHCT, c/o Lori Ring, 494 Hemlock Road, St. George, Vt. 05495. Contributions can also be made via PayPal at www.stgeorgevtschoolhouse.org.