By Jennifer McDaniel
Within the past two weeks, nearly $10,000 in funding has been awarded to the Evangelical Lutheran School in Sylvan Grove to support the pieces of a much larger restoration project.
Located just north of the Bethlehem Lutheran Church, the school was built in 1913, replacing an earlier structure at the same location.
The native-limestone building, which was designed by a Salina architect, still serves youth groups, confirmation and Sunday School classes. In October, the school was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Terry Lilak, grant writer and Sylvan Grove Historical Society secretary, confirmed last Thursday the group received a $5,400 Dane G. Hansen Foundation Community Grant from the Post Rock Community Foundation in addition to $4,320 in Heritage Trust Fund dollars awarded earlier this month.
Lilak said the money from the Post Rock Foundation would be used for tuckpoint work around the foundation, basement walls and flooring repairs and exterior paint for the window and door trim.
The additional dollars from the state program, Lilak said, will be used to purchase gutters and downspouts. The Heritage Trust Fund provides matching funds for the preservation of properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places or the Register of Historic Kansas Places. The fund reimburses expenses for projects aimed at preserving or restoring historic properties.
“We think this will address the most-pressing need in diverting water away from the foundation,” she said.
Work is expected to begin as soon as possible, Lilak said.
(From the Kansas Historical Society database)
The Evangelical Lutheran School is located on the east edge of Sylvan Grove, directly north of the Bethlehem Lutheran Church. The two-and-a-half-story building reflects the Prairie School style of architecture and is constructed of native limestone, a common material in this area during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The school is associated with the early German Lutheran immigrants who settled in this area, following the efforts of Christ Kruse, a railroad man from Chicago known for as a community builder and founder of Lutheran churches. The 1913 school, designed by Salina architect C.A. Smith, replaced an earlier building at the same location. The parochial school operated every year except one between 1913 and 1981. At the start of the 1918-1919 school year, Lincoln County’s Council of Defense closed the Evangelical Lutheran School due to anti-German hysteria during World War I.