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Morrison, Oklahoma, USA
Sumner School is an abandoned school house. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Properties Number 96000492. It was built in 1921 and used till 1991.
The buildings take up 13,000 sq. ft. and sit on 6 acres in the ghost town of Sumner OK. The main building is a brick commercial style classroom and auditorium. There are seven classrooms rooms plus restrooms and a kitchen. The gymnasium is constructed of sandstone and was added by the Works Progress Administration using local skilled labor in 1940-1941. It is 93'X72' and is topped with a hipped barrel roof. There is a partial basement with a boiler alcove.
The school was closed in 1991 and purchased by an individual who lived in it for a few years, then let it go. I purchased it in August 2017. I plan to begin restoration immediately. As it stands, it needs a lot of work and serves best as a creepy or rundown relic of the past. The six acres it sits on has a few trees, but mostly prairie grass. I will be turning the water and electricity on shortly, but for now, it is barebones and primitive. It is missing most of its windows and in some places the sky is visible through the roof.
There is graffiti on the walls of the auditorium and gymnasium. School equipment has been left behind, construction equipment from various projects abandoned, and in one classroom someone stored Simon pizza restaurant signs and equipment. The outside of the school has ivy, weeds and saplings encroaching, threatening to overwhelm. There is no trash outside of the school. It was cleaned up for the auction. I plan to start cleaning the overgrowth away in September and will be working in the school after that, one room at a time to clean up. For a true representation of how it looks now, check out some of the videos on YouTube that say Abandoned School Sumner Oklahoma. The coolest one shows an owl circling the rafters in the gym. It really brings home the reality of how time moves on.
I am offering the entire property for use. The property is located at 19900 Lariat, Morrison, OK 73061. It is between Perry, OK and Morrison, OK at the ghost town of Sumner. I have a Facebook page set up called Sumner School @sumneroklahoma.
I have lots of photos.
THE SUMNER SCHOOL SERVED THE COMMUNITY OF SUMNER, OKLAHOMA FROM 1921 TO 1991. IT WAS ONE OF THE FIRST CONSOLIDATED SCHOOLS IN OKLAHOMA AND WAS THE FIRST CONSOLIDATED SCHOOL IN NOBLE COUNTY. IT IS AN L-SHAPED SINGLE-STORY BUILDING WITH A PARTIAL BASEMENT. THE SCHOOL IS COMPRISED OF FOUR SECTIONS: THE FIRST, A BRICK COMMERCIAL STYLE CLASSROOM AND AUDITORIUM BUILDING BUILT IN 1920-1921. THE ORIGINAL PORTION OF THE FACILITY HAS A GABLED ROOF IN THE CENTER, FLANKED BY TWO FLAT-ROOFED SECTIONS. A SANDSTONE GYMNASIUM WAS ADDED BY THE WPA IN 1940-1941 AND FEATURES A HIPPED BARREL ROOF. UTILITARIAN BRICK AND CONCRETE BLOCK SECTIONS WERE ADDED BETWEEN 1945 AND 1954 TO ACCOMMODATE THE GROWING NEEDS OF THE SCHOOL. LISTED IN THE NATIONAL REGISTER, 4/26/1996.''
The gymnasium, built in 1940-1941 as a separate building, is a particularly good example of the WPA's contribution to rural Oklahoma. It may have been a standard plan designed by Oklahoma WPA projects architect Fred Dugan, as it bears a strong resemblance to the gymnasium built in nearby Morrison, Oklahoma at the same time. Because the WPA needed to keep construction costs down and use materials easily worked by unskilled labor, locally quarried sandstone block construction was a hallmark of WPA structures in much of Oklahoma. This labor-intensive construction technique also allowed maximum employment of workmen drawn from county relief rolls.
Sumner School, built of buff sandstone, is typical of WPA style and workmanship but demonstrates a higher level of skill in the cutting and laying of rusticated blocks in the random coursed ashlar pattern. The stepped piers and half-arch near the northeast entrance are also typical of the WPA goal of individualizing each building while demonstrating the program's commitment to artistry and craftsmanship.
The two subsequent additions to Sumner School about 1945 and 1954 show less attention to style and more response to student needs. The 1945 addition between the 1920-21 building and the gymnasium connects two visually and structurally disparate buildings. The use of red brick and repetition of the original building's rooflines makes the best of the situation, although it somewhat impairs the individual integrity of the gymnasium. The concrete block restroom addition, built about 1954 and generally hidden by the older sections, adheres to no particular style and is strictly functional.
Sumner School is important as a symbol of community life in and around Sumner. It has always been the largest, most visible, and most historic building in town, serving as a gathering place for educational, recreational, and cultural activities. Sumner School is architecturally significant in that it exemplifies two early twentieth century architectural styles adapted and modified to fit community needs during its seventy year's service as an educational facility.
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