Crowley County School Board moved all grades to the Ordway campus in September 1992. The School Board desired to return the vacated property back to the community.
The 1914 grade school building was in desperate need of repair. There were many broken windows & doors, large holes in the roof, and the pigeon population was increasing daily.
Because of the age and importance to the town and county, the Town agreed to take the building. They would try to salvage it and find an economical use for it.
Three grants from the State Historical Society (funded from the gaming funds), totaling $113,018.00, were awarded to the Town to restore the old school. The building was listed as State Historical property on March 10th, 1993, and on the National Historic list on July 28, 1999.
The match for these grants was over 4000 hours of labor donated by the Community Projects Crew from the Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility, and over 1000 hours from the reorganized Crowley County Heritage Society. The Town's Conservation Trust Fund donated $3000.00, and the Community Foundation donated $1000.00.
The Town and Heritage Society share the maintenance, repair, and continued improvements to the building. The fees that are paid for the rental of the community center cover the utilities. The Town covers the water, sewer, trash, and insurance.
The Heritage Society through dues, memorials, donations, and fundraisers covers all the developing museum expenses. Through the many hours of donated labor, and the thousands of dollars in donations and grants, the 1914 school is now the Crowley County Heritage Center & Museum.
The museum continues to accept memorabilia about the county's history, and it displays it for everyone to enjoy. We are asking people to tell us about their family history so we may continue to build our Family History file.