Seymour Grade School

Seymour, Missouri
Webster County

The Seymour Grade School was constructed in 1940 on a block of land that housed the community’s public schools for decades. It was constructed using WPA funds and built with sandstone quarried in the region. The material was unusual for Seymour and it is still referred to locally as “the rock building.” Between 1940 and 1958, all the children in Seymour were introduced to education at the stone school house on Cordie Street until a new grade school was built. Later it served as a Junior High School and Early Childhood Center. It remains the oldest school building in Seymour today. Like many old school buildings in Missouri, the building is structurally sound but functionally obsolete and obsolescence threatens its continued existence. The Public School System does not have the resources to maintain, let alone restore, a building that can no longer be used as a public school and the longer it remains vacant, the harder it will be to find a new use, making demolition more likely. Water damage from a failed roof has created mold issues and flooded the basement. In 2019, vandals broke in and damaged more of the structure. While there is strong community interest in saving the building, it is difficult to find an appropriate new use and funding. Efforts are underway to list the building on the National Register of Historic Places, which would make any future rehabilitation by a private entity eligible for historic tax credits. In 2020 the Seymour Area Arts Council attempted to purchase the building but the sale fell through. The most recent plans were to create a partnership that would allow the building to be used by the community as a continuing education and training center, but those plans have fallen through as the School District is not willing to sell the property for a minimal amount that would be needed to make a rehabilitation feasible for the buyer. Concerned individuals hope that listing the Seymour Grade School as a Place in Peril will lend credence to preservation efforts and convince the school district that the most cost effective measure for all parties is to agree to a sale of the building at a reasonable price. 

Seymour Elementary School

View All 2023 Places in Peril listings.

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