By Shari Sampson
In a second sweep of elbow-grease efforts, students from the JAG program (Jobs for American Graduates) took to the inside of the historic Sixth Street School to mop and vacuum floors while others cleaned windows. Large, broken furnishings and small debris was hauled into a dump trailer provided by Tom Gallegos.
Lyndsey Burell, the Mineral County High School JAG Director and Gallegos, School District Maintenance Director, were on hand to direct the students from one room to the next. Leftover items of value were placed in a designated storage room.
“With the recent completion from insurance claims and construction work done by Belfour, this building just needed a little more help to get it where it had to be for the upcoming Armed Forces Day open house. These students are here to complete the final touches for us,” Gallegos expressed, as he maned an outdoor grill full of hot dogs.
While feeding these young workers during a lunch break, Burell expressed her awe of the building itself, stating, “I can’t believe there is so much possibility in one building and yet it sits vacant without being utilized. I can think of so many community programs which could benefit from its potential.”
This historic building has truly experienced many transitions over the years. Most recently, it was remembered as a community arts facility, evident by dusty items left behind. Then the structure was slated to become a training center, which never manifested. Structural items involving the roof and leakage issues were finally addressed by the school district for necessary repairs, which brought the building to the current completion found today.
Deeply-rooted in Hawthorne’s community existence, this 82-year-old, Sixth Street School, was originally built in 1886 as the first school site built after the town was founded. Serving as a two-room school for 50 years, it was expanded to its current size, with its modern Art Deco facade, in 1936. Recognized as a dedicated Nevada State Historical building, it was just over a year ago that Program Director for Senior Services, Cherrie George, attempted to reopen the facility as a senior center, which Commissioner Hegg dismissed for “engineering and structural risks” and the commissioners board voted down the lease-to-own, county purchase option with the Mineral County School District.
Many in Hawthorne can still remember attending elementary school within the walls of the Sixth Street School, which is why reminiscent tours will be provided during this year’s Armed Forces Day. Housing a maze of school rooms, a small theatre, a kitchen area and upgraded nuances such as newer heating, flooring and paint, the building still retains a historic atmosphere with vintage doors, wide hallways and large closets with student’s jacket hooks still arranged on the walls.