The above building is difficult to see (old
photo poorly scanned) but if you
come to Fairbanks, you can see the actual building, which is better anyway.
This school, known as Main School, was the main educational
building in Fairbanks for many years. It housed elementary as well as secondary students
off and on over the years. In its final years as a school, the senior high moved over to
the new (then) Lathrop High School, and Main served as a Junior High for a few years.
There were so many junior high school students, that mobile units
had to be set up on what is now a parking lot to the south of the building. Eventually
Main was closed as a school and returned to the City of Fairbanks (who had rented it to
the School District of $1 a year as long as it was used as a school).
Now the city had to figure out what to do with the aging,
asbestos filled building. But it came at a good time - when the city was thinking about
building a larger building for city government. The building needed a lot of work.
Asbestos was removed or contained, an elevator added to make it handicap accessible, and
lots of painting done.
The building still needs a lot of work, especially on the leaky
roof, but some space is being leased out on short term leases while the city decides what
other city departments to move into the building. The groups leasing space are paying very
low rent, in return for in-kind renovations on their portions.
Take a look at the building if you are in Fairbanks. If you get a
chance to talk to any locals, you will find many happy to reminisce about their school
days in old Main School!