Keeping the History of Schools Alive

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(ABC 6 NEWS) – Old school buildings, especially vintage ones, catch everyone’s eye.

Even the new ones do too and they are important for people in our communities.

They hold rich history that many are preserving for future generations.

A new school year brings wonder and excitement.

It’s a chance to learn new things and learn in a cool environment like Grand Meadow.

Many kids are getting ready for the school year by decorating their friends lockers.

When you look up, you can see you’re in a dome.

“The dome is really nice to scratch your back on,” senior Megan Geier said.

“The best way to describe it is it’s built like a swimming pool upside down,” Polly Glynn, former school board member for Grand Meadow Schools said.

So how did the monolithic dome come to be?

Back in the ’90s, this building made history in the state of Minnesota by being the first monolithic dome school.

School Board Member at the time, Polly Glynn, fought to get this project across the finish line from the very beginning.

She argued the domes would protect kids from tornadoes, would be energy efficient, and save the district money.

This was a project worth fighting for.

“At that time with small schools you had to look and count every penny,” Glynn said.

Inside the domes are arched classrooms and high ceilings. They are heated by a Geothermal system. The buildings been expanded on in recent years.

But the district is growing.

This fall, a referendum will take place to determine the future of the building to fix the wear and tear of the domes and the heating and cooling system.

But at the end of the day, this building is built to last, and easy to get lost in!

In Austin, they’re also celebrating their school’s history.

“The community responded with a beautiful brick building that was touted all across Minnesota and the Midwest,” Tim Ruzek, an Austin High School Alumni said.

Like Grand Meadow, the city Austin needed a change.

Overcrowding was a problem facing the district, this school offered a chance for a fresh start.

Construction began in 1919. Austin’s Washington Elementary School was torn down to make way for the new school.

When this school opened a few years later, it caught everyone’s attention.

From the sprawling first floor, the conservatory, swimming pool, and auditorium, there was something for everyone.

“It was roughly a ballpark of roughly a million dollars back in 1921 dollars,” Ruzek said.

The building and community continued to grow over the years.

Today what still stands out is the buildings gothic features.

“Not everybody embraces history, but hopefully they know the detail that went into it all,” Ruzek said.

Keeping History Alive is important for Tim.

His daughter is now a Packer.

Pride runs in his family.

“I don’t know if she will embrace the history like I have, but we will see,” Ruzek said.

As for the kids, sure learning is fun, but the environment helps.

“When I showed them out school they were like woah! That place looks funky,” Karina Lee, sophomore at Grand Meadow School said.

For more information on the History of Austin High, visit this link.

For more information on the History of Grand Meadow School, visit this link.