August of 2019 began our initiative to save our 110-year-old school in rural Gem County. It is amazing that this one building has been used for the purpose of educating children for over 100 years- a tradition that needs preserving! Trout Architects’ 2019 analysis determined the school building unsafe for use because of significant dry rot in some walls which will require the entire building to be brought up to current code. Approximately $490,000 in repairs are necessary.
The committed Ola Community generously offered our students a temporary school-home in the Ola Community Hall. The school district needed to pass a bond or levy to have funds to repair the school. The COVID-19 situation has made a bond unthinkable. Rather than wait on an unpredictable bond or have our students bussed 20 miles to a neighboring school, the committee has raised $242,000 to begin repairing our historical school building. The Emmett School District has in reserve $50,000. The SOS Committee has also received a $20,000 challenge grant from the Harry W. Morrison Foundation which will be issued upon reaching $470,000. That gives us over $312,000 and reaches approximately 63% of our goal.
Our committee has been working closely with the school district, architects and contractors to begin construction in phases. We’re hoping to go out to bid this fall. We are still in great need of donations. Please consider donating to our cause in preserving a traditional ranching community’s historic two room school house.
Great news, donations towards an Idaho school may qualify you for a 2020 Idaho and federal tax credit! For more tax benefit information please consult your accountant. No gift is too small and any amount is appreciated! Donations can be made online at https://www.paypal.me/OlaElementary or by check. Checks should be made out to Ola PTO, MEMO: SOS Fund. You can view our videos at https://youtube.com/channel/UCEpJ6pcijEs8Q39O9sm7zwg or visit our Facebook Page, https://www.facebook.com/OlaIdahoPTO. You can also donate while you shop through smile.amazon.com and select Ola Parent Teachers Organization as your favorite charity. Another great donate spot is our GOFUNDME Page https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/save-ola-school.
Please sign up for our Friends of Ola School Registry. Here we can keep you up to date on the latest and greatest happenings of the Save Ola School Initiative.