At the Iowa Country School Conference in October, Iowa artist JD Speltz from Armstrong, presented a fundraiser idea for one-room schools and Cole School supporters took him up on it. That idea was to sell an art print of the schoolhouse painted by JD, and use the proceeds for renovations.
The Cole School, a country school, was built in 1888 in Boone, IA with walls of three layers of brick. Citizens were determined their school would last, and so will its legacy if this fundraiser is a success!
The Boone school is featured in the opening frames of the documentary feature film Country School: One Room - One Nation.
According to Bill Sherman, coordinator of the conference, this is only one of three brick schoolhouses left in Iowa and volunteers have been working since 2006 to restore it. Up to now, all the brick has been repaired and re-pointed, the limestone foundation resurfaced, a new cedar-shingle roof has been installed, windowsills and a door step set in place, and electricity run to the building. Still in need of replacement are the six windows and door, the building of a vestibule inside, and the laying of a new floor.
The remaining work will certainly get a boost if the prints sell. According to Barb MacDougall, "We will be selling these prints for the next 10 days until Christmas Eve. You'll find that the colors of the print are more vibrant than a digital image here can portray."