Volunteers restore historic Union County school

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SHARPS CHAPEL, Tenn. (WVLT)-- For years, the Oak Grove School was a place of learning but over the years modernization has left it vacant but not forgotten.

Built in 1934, the Oak Grove School is a 2 classroom school designed in the Rosenwald style. The Rosenwald design was created by Julius Rosenwald the president of Sears, Roebuck and Company. He raised money to build over 5,000 schools in the early 20th century.

To this day, many of schools are no longer standing or have been remodeled but not the Oak Grove School in Sharps Chapel.

From 1934 to 1969 it was a first to eighth grade school for the community but was consolidated to modernize schools in the area. Since then, the school hasn't had a permanent identity; until now.

For the past 3 years, Preservation Union County has been working on grants and private donations to restore the historic school back to it's old glory. Even though the grants and donations pay for the materials-- the community has volunteered their time and energy to get the job done.

Members from the TVA Retirees Association spend hours at the site getting the work done. They have also donated money and plan to not stop volunteering until the school can open its doors again.

When it is complete Preservation Union County will set up their headquarters and the building will be open to the community. There's also plans for a soccer field and GED classes so people don't have to drive 40 minutes round trip to complete their high school degree.

Anyone and everyone are invited to help restore the school. Students from Scott County even made their way down to help out. It could be a great community service event for a school, church, or even work group!

If you want to pitch in time or money contact Bonnie Heiskell Peters, the Union County Historian at bhpeters@att.net.

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