City of Fallon and Churchill County officials gathered at the Cottage Schools last evening to cut the ribbon for reopening the newly renovated building as an educational facility.
In his remarks, County Commissioner Pete Olsen thanked the City of Fallon and Mayor Kenny Tedford for saving the buildings, which had been unoccupied for several years, and agreeing to swap the property with the county in exchange for the old senior center building at the corner of Court and East Streets in Fallon.
“This facility allows us to effectively double the size of our after-school CARE program,” Olsen said, noting that the county’s facilities staff had done a wonderful job renovating the building for kids.
City of Fallon Chief of Staff Bob Erickson, representing Mayor Tedford, said the mayor was passionate about saving historical sites in town as a legacy of heritage. He noted that John and Nellie Oats (of Oats Park fame) donated the land to the county back in 1906 for use as an educational facility.
“These buildings have served education in Churchill County since 1906,” Erickson said, saying it was an honor to dedicate the facility once again to the kids of the community for educational purposes.
Jorge Guerrero, director of Churchill County Facilities and Parks & Recreation, gave special thanks to his facilities and grounds staff for their work to rehabilitate the building and recognized the school district for donating kid-sized desks, chairs and furniture for the kids in the CARE after-school program who will descend on the building on Monday, April 4 to enjoy crafts, activities and the playground equipment out front.
Looking around the building’s interior before the ribbon cutting, Commissioner Greg Koenig noted that the classrooms looked much larger when he attended the Cottage School decades ago as a kindergartener.
The CARE program is a high-quality after-school program that provides homework assistance, tutoring and recreational activities in a safe and structured environment. Daily transportation provided from schools to the program from school district schools and Oasis Academy. Participants enjoy games, crafts, snacks and swimming at the Churchill County Aquatic Center.
Once school is out, Parks & Rec’s SUMFUN summer day camp will take over the Cottage Schools providing full day childcare for the summer months. Campers enjoy daily games, crafts and recreational activities including weekly trips to such places as Wild Island Adventure Park, Nevada Discovery Museum, Children’s Museum of Nevada Fleishmann Planetarium and Animal Ark. Local experiences include outings to the local museum, library and local parks. Swimming offered three-times weekly as are twice weekly trips to the City-County Gym.
The Cottage Schools are located at 255 E. Stillwater Avenue. The CARE program can be reached at (775)427-7777.
History of the Cottage Schools
In 1906, John and Nellie Oats donated the property to Churchill County for use as a school with the stipulation that if it were to no longer be used as such, the property would revert to the Oats family heirs.
High school 1906-1918
Original 1906 high school building constructed of bricks, trimmed with stone from the Rattlesnake Hill quarry
Elementary school 1918-1939
1939 - Old high school razed and three cottage buildings built. Cottage #3 used bricks recovered from the old high school building
Cottage Schools 1939-2016
1939-1962: Used for grades 1-3 in Churchill County
1962-1964: Atomic Energy Commission leased the building
1964-1992: Used again for kindergarten and primary grades until Lahontan Elementary School opened in 1992
1992-2007: Used for pre-kindergarten
2007: Cottage School added to National Register of Historic Places
2007-2015: Teacher training facility, adult education at Cottage Schools
2015: Adult education moved to West End School
2016: Property ownership transferred to City of Fallon from Churchill County School District and Oats family
2021: City and County agree to swap the Cottage Schools and old senior center properties
2022: Cottage School building #2 (center building) is renovated; Parks & Recreation’s CARE after-school program transfers operations there from the fairgrounds
Photo: Commissioners Justin Smith and Pete Olsen, surround by city and county officials and kids from the CARE program, cut the ribbon opening the Cottage School as the new home of CARE.