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Community members are banding together to rebuild a historic school destroyed by fire in Ben Lomond

Alba Schoolhouse
San Lorenzo Unified School District

BEN LOMOND, Calif. (KION) Community members from Ben Lomond are banding together to try and rebuild the Alba School House, a historical structure that was burned in the CZU Lightning Complex Fires.

Residents held a celebration and fundraiser on Independence Day to go towards building the schoolhouse.

Charred logs and blackened trees surround the plot of land where the Alba School House once stood, a haunting reminder of the fiery destruction of the CZU Fire.

“Came down to this area and it impacted so many of our neighbors lost everything, this schoolhouse, and the properties here too were also lost," said Lindsay Speth, a Ben Lomond resident who is spearheading the effort to rebuild the schoolhouse.

The schoolhouse was originally built in 1895 and was the last remaining historical schoolhouse in the county still in its original location and configuration. Unfortunately, the building was burned to the ground with just the school bell standing.

"I also think that this is important because I want to be able to create a space for people to have support. It's not a short journey to be healed from something like that. It's going to take a lot of time," said Speth.

Residents held a celebration and fundraiser on Independence Day to go towards building the schoolhouse. They've also helped with the cleanup of the area. For now, any construction remains uncertain because the plot of land is owned by the San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District.

"The four options the school district has is one, rebuild the Alba School House exactly how it was built. Two, not rebuild Alba School House. Three. rebuild Alba School House and sell the property, or four, not rebuild and sell the property," said Christopher Schiermeyer, SLVUSD Superintendent.

For one resident, bringing the "little red schoolhouse" back to life could help people with healing.

"It's a symbol of the community and how we all come together," said Jennifer Young.

A decision has yet to be made concerning the future of the schoolhouse by the district.

For people interested in their Facebook group, click here.

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Stephanie Aceves

Stephanie Aceves is a former multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.


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