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Old Willow Springs schoolhouse undergoes restoration

We would like to know more about the old schoolhouse on Willow Springs Road near Central Point, off Tolo Road. It appears to be private property now. What is its history and what is its future? Any plans for restoration?

— G. P., Medford.

The Willow Springs School served schoolchildren in Jackson County School District No. 6 from 1911 until 1946, according the secretary of the neighborhood association that now owns the structure.

The Willow Springs Neighborhood Association acquired the schoolhouse to use for neighborhood functions after the school district concluded that it had no use for the building, said Karen Robertson, association board secretary and the schoolhouse's neighbor.

The nonprofit association plans to slowly restore the schoolhouse as funds are raised or become available through grants or donations, Robertson said.

A swap-meet fundraiser for that purpose is set for 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 7 at the schoolhouse, 5100 Willow Springs Road. To rent a space, call 601-0187.

Neighbors already have chased away the resident bats, replaced the schoolhouse's roof and ceiling, finished the floor and painted the interior, Robertson said.

The outside of the school is still looking a bit ramshackle. The building is shuttered because all of its windows were broken out by vandals, and the exterior paint is chipped.

The school's most prominent feature, a bell tower, is lacking a bell. Some owls have seen fit to nest in it.

The group is looking for possible grants to pay for more improvements.

"We are trying to keep it as authentic as we could," Robertson said.

While awaiting its makeover, the building has hosted neighborhood events, including an Easter church service and a memorial service.

The school might remind you of another old schoolhouse near Central Point. It has similar architecture to the Table Rock School built in 1910 at 10545 Table Rock Road, a mile north of Touvelle State Park.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.com.