photo of midlakes one-room schoolhouse

History

  • The wooden one-room schoolhouse now located on the Midlakes campus was commonly known as the Coonsville School. It was built in 1928 and was located on the southwest corner of Route 96 and County Road No. 7. Students in grades in 1 to 8 were taught there until the mid-1940s when centralization occurred and parents opted to send their children to either Manchester or Clifton Springs schools.

    The building remained empty and unused for several years with the Manchester Town Board decided to relocate the building to the Manchester Town Hall campus in 1970. Manchester town leaders also approved a resolution that the building could not be destroyed. An overhead door was installed on a windowless wall and the building was used to store road signs and other items for the town. It was later moved and left on blocks in front of a recycling barn.

    In 2008, the Midlakes One-Room Schoolhouse Committee approached and received approval from the Town of Manchester in 2008 to take ownership of the schoolhouse to restore it to its original purpose. The committee also approached the Phelps-Clifton Springs Board of Education, which agreed to accept and allow the building to be moved on campus. The committee's vision was to make the schoolhouse available for on-campus field trips for all of Midlakes students as well as students of other school districts and community organizations.

    A groundbreaking ceremony took place on May 19, 2009, after nearly a year of planning and fundraising. The schoolhouse was then stripped of its roof, lead-based paint siding, and plaster walls while still on the Manchester site as its new home at Midlakes was made ready. The schoolhouse was moved to Midlakes on August 18, 2009, and carpentry students from Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES, local businesses, and volunteers began working to restore the schoolhouse and make it ready for student use. A grand opening/dedication ceremony took place on May 18, 2010.