In 2007, PAM identified the Jasper School as one of the state’s 10 Most Endangered Historic Places. The 1911 school building, constructed of Sioux Quartzite from the local Jasper quarry, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Jasper historical society member Geraldine Peterson and the Pipestone County Historical Society helped bring attention to the school’s historic significance before it was purchased in 2001 by a private developer who had intended to rehab the building. Following his passing, a group of alumni and residents raised $45,000 to purchase it at auction and begin repair work while applying for Minnesota Historical Society grants. Reclaim Community is organizing the community to preserve the Jasper School and revitalize the local economy. The group plans to rehabilitate the school as a multi-use building that can provide affordable, unique historic loft-style residences, community areas and programs using the gymnasium/auditorium, and affordable spaces for business incubation. Reclaim Community is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The group will rely on donations and volunteers to accomplish its goals; prospective volunteers are invited to contact Reclaim Community founder Elicia Kortus at [email protected].
Stay tuned as we add more pieces to the long and intricate history of this building and the community around it.