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May 1, 2007 > Old School

Old School

Groundbreaking ceremonies were held Saturday, April 28 at the site of Milpitas Grammar School on Main Street. After serving fifty years as a school, it was also used as City Hall, a library (one of three in the city at the time), Community Center, and Senior Center. It now begins its transition into a state-of-the-art library with completion expected in 2009. The project will maintain the integrity of the original neoclassical design.

But nestled in the foothills, another historic relic remains virtually untouched and forgotten. Laguna School, the first school constructed in the Milpitas area still stands at its original site at the junction of Felter Road and Calaveras Road. Built in 1865, the 24 by 30 foot one room school cost about $600 at the time of its construction. A woodburning stove sat near the middle of the room.

Ranchers and farmers sent their children to the little school for more than seventy years. In 1943, the school finally closed its doors when enrollment dropped below the required minimum of five students. Mildred Beans, a nearby rancher, bought the building for $575 in 1949 and made some modifications to use it as a barn and storage shed. One subsequent owner considered demolishing it and rebuilding on the site to take advantage of the magnificent view of the bay. The Milpitas Historical Society initiated efforts to move the building. Fortunately, the current owners would like to restore and preserve it.
It is one of the oldest remaining structures of its type in Santa Clara County.

Special thanks for Bill Hare.

Karen Werkheiser Kolander
President, Milpitas Historical Society
The public is invited to join us at our next meeting, Wednesday, May 9, 2007 at 7 p.m. in the Josephine Guerrero Room , Milpitas Community Library.

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