Restoration to Begin on Central School


Central School 2013Expect to see work on the interior of Mount Prospect’s 1896 one-room Central Schoolhouse commence later this year.

The Mount Prospect Historical Society announced at its annual meeting last Thursday that it has collected enough funds, through its $130,000 Central School Restoration Campaign, to put the adaptive restoration project’s initial work out to bid.

Thanks to generous contributions by members of the Society’s board of directors and to an anonymous $10,000 donation, the Society has enough money in its Central School Fund to begin work on this final phase of the Central School project. The first round of work will focus on the reinforcement of the 116-year-old floor to bring it into compliance with modern building codes, as well as the installation of a new electrical system.

Work on the HVAC, fire suppression and plumbing systems, along with cosmetic restoration, will follow over the next several years in the building which was moved to its current location at 103 S. Maple Street in May 2008.

It is hoped that when the Village of Mount Prospect celebrates its Centennial in 2017, the momentous year will begin with a reenactment of the town fathers’ signing of the papers of incorporation. That signing would fittingly occur in the 1896 Central Schoolhouse – the site where it actually took place in 1917.

Consequently, Society leaders have developed a timeline for the work and a corresponding timeline for fund-raising in order to complete the restoration on time. The plan involves raising $30,000 to $35,000 each year so that the work may proceed. Approximately $7,500 of each year’s total will be supplied by the Board’s pledge.

“This commitment by the Board sends a powerful message to the community,” said Board President Arlene Juracek. “We believe in the importance of the Central School to the Village and in the success of this effort. We hope our commitment will inspire others to join us with dollars and in-kind service to complete the work plan in time for the Centennial celebration and were certainly thrilled when an anonymous donor came forward with a $10,000 donation in December.”

“It has been stated that the Central School is our Independence Hall and I could not agree more,” added Greg Peerbolte, executive director. “There is perhaps no other building of greater historical significance in Mount Prospect than the 1896 Central School. In addition to the signing of the Village Charter in 1917, it has been home to almost a dozen of Mount Prospect’s long-standing community, civic, religious and charitable institutions. I couldn’t think of a more fitting and proper way to mark Mount Prospect’s centennial than opening the building to the public at its new permanent home on the Historical Society’s museum campus.

“But we cannot do it alone,” he continued. “The Society’s board of directors has dug deep into their own pockets for the seed money. But now it is up to the residents, businesses, clubs and schoolchildren of Mount Prospect to quickly join this effort and help us get the school completed and open.”

If you would like to make a contribution, schedule a speaker for your organization or get more information, log onto (where PayPal contributions are accepted) or phone 847-392-9006.

Once restored, the Central School will once again fulfill its historic roles of education center, community gathering space and historic treasure.

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