Proud Leland School

Until my weekend drive though the surrounding farmland, I had never heard of the town of Leland. Passing through, this large, old, white building on the hill caught my eye and I turned around to check it out. My first thought was "old school," but after looking around I wasn't sure. The front seemed more church-like. It was easy to peek inside the basement, but that didn't provide many clues.

At home I was pleased to discover a recently written book on the town of Leland, written by Loeda Meyer Reil and published by the Juliaetta-Kendrick Heritage Foundation. I ordered it hoping to learn about the building, and wasn't disappointed.

The "proud Leland School" was built in 1921 and educated many children until 1948 or so. It has two large classrooms (grades 1-4 and 5-8) and a gymnasium. It was remodeled in 1942 so that hot lunches could be served. After the Leland School District was consolidated with Kendrick, the building was used for other activities such as 4-H meetings and square dancing into the 1970s.

The ground on the front side of the building is steep and overgrown, so it was a little difficult to get a really nice shot. With the fancy columns and steep ground, it doesn't seem very school-like to me. Some stairs remain on each side, but I wasn't brave enough to give them a try.
The four columns seem to be in very good shape, apart from these missing boards. They remain amazingly round. The electric wires seem like they don't belong, even though the school closed around 1948 and the building was used for other purposes until the 1970s.

This is the view through the broken window of the basement door. I didn't feel comfortable entering the door. The firewood was likely the only way to heat the large building. And I'd bet the theater seats were added later, when the building was used more as a community center, although perhaps not in this room.
I think it looks more school-like from the rear.