A Brief History of the
Old Wakefield High School Building and
The Wakefield Foundation, Inc.
Though the Wakefield Foundation was chartered in the fall of 1986, its origins date to the earliest beginnings of the community called Wakefield. Throughout their history, the people of Wakefield have been intimately involved in developing educational opportunities in the community. The formation of the Foundation was not a new concept, but a continuation of a familiar tradition.
The Old Wakefield High School Building was built in 1919 to replace a one-story brick structure which had burned. The fire shocked the community- the school was fairly new and considered the finest in the area. The necessary actions took place quickly to replace the school. The first graduating class marched down the new school's auditorium in 1921.
The large structure housed grades one through twelve until 1964 when a county wide consolidation turned it into an elementary school. The school was closed in 1984 and was vacant until the Foundation purchased it in January, 1987.
The building has dominated the community both physically and aesthetically for nearly nine decades. Hopefully, its presence will continue to influence Wakefield area educational and cultural life for generations.
The building is one of the most used structures in Wakefiekd. The Marion Lillian Pittman Troxler Memorial Library, a branch of the Blackwater Regional Library, has been in the building since the Foundation's beginning. Music, dance, exercise and Kung Fu classes are taught weekly and many other classes are offered on a periodic or one-time basis. A sixteen seat computer lab is used for teaching basic and intermediate level computer classes, as well as for teaching GED classes.
In 1987, The Wakefield Foundation, Inc. was born out of the Community's desire that the 1919 School Building be preserved and restored. Its aim was to use the building as a regional cultural center providing programs and activities for the enrichment of the Wakefield Community and surrounding areas.