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FHS Old Main could become new city hall building

Ferndale High School 'Old Main' building entrance

Ferndale School District officials said this week they had been approached by City of Ferndale officials regarding the possibility of the city using the ‘Old Main’ section of the Ferndale High School campus as a city hall building.

It is currently destined to be replaced by a new high school structure after which it would either be demolished or repurposed in some way such as what the city is proposing.

The statement from the district:

We entered into a conversation initiated by the City about the possibility of repurposing Old Main as a new City Hall. This idea is still in very early stages. The City Council has to decide whether it is even feasible to renovate the building for this alternative purpose before any further discussion with the District can take place.

The ‘Old Main’ section of the Ferndale High School campus was built in 1936. New plumbing, heating, electrical systems, floors surfaces and wall coverings were installed in 1986 as part of a modernization project.


  1. Pete Harksell March 23, 2019

    Not a good idea in any way.

    • Maria Blanton March 23, 2019

      I agree. If it isn’t financially sound to keep it for the school district then why would it suddenly become a good idea for the city? And how would the city propose to pay for the refurbishment? Increased water and sewer rates?

  2. Dan Mesikepp March 23, 2019

    So many memories…it seems like EONS ago (mid to late 90’s) when I was there.

    What I don’t understand, is why the double standard?

    Just recently with the special vote to raise property taxes for the next 20 years, to pay for a new school, Ferndale taxpayers were given a description of the current status of the school as utterly decrepit and perhaps almost downright dangerous for students. We were told it wasn’t feasible/cost effective to renovate and repair, with other descriptions making it sound like it’s beyond repair?

    But now it IS apparently repairable, and the new story is a renovation WOULD make it acceptable?

    These discrepancies between the two versions of the story seem to reveal the taxpayers got hoodwinked, and the city could’ve saved a huge amount of money after all by renovating and restoring the school, rather than demanding a gargantuan, lavish new school that all local home owners and property owners will enjoy the burden of paying for, for the next 2 decades!?

    Forgive me if I’m wrong, and I haven’t personally seen the condition of the building since ’97/’98. Back then things were fine. Of course that was a long time ago! 😱 (Getting so old! 😨😅) Just can’t help this observation.

    Of course the idea of a brand new school is attractive, especially for students.

    If the old building (s) are truly restorable, they should be saved as long as possible, and repurposed if necessary. There’s a lot of history there and it would be neat for future generations to see a part of local history. Historic buildings add to the character and charm of a city. Too much of modern architecture is bland, cold, and imposing when it comes to larger buildings.

    This school was built back in happier times…when there was less wars, less racism, less politically motivated hatred, less crime, less drugs, less poverty, less unforgiveness, less animosity in the world. It should be saved!

    • JOHN MORLEY March 24, 2019

      I agree. Thanks for saying it though.

  3. Brian Jones March 23, 2019

    Boy, an 83 year old building that was rehabbed 33 years ago and the City Council is considering taking it on? The FSD and the Council must be cut from the same cloth.
    What is going to be thrown at us next?

  4. Fred Mertz March 23, 2019

    Folks worry about the new brewery being too close to Central Elementary. Is there a similar concern about the high school being too close to city hall?

    • McLean Johnson March 24, 2019

      People were worried about the brewery being too close to Central? I have a much bigger problem with the fact that a three-time convicted child molester Gary Allen Dean lives a block away from Central Elementary and right across the street from the Boys & Girls Club. He had been molesting children since he was first convicted at 16 years old. How can it be be legal for him to live there? Where is the public uproar? Let’s be more realistic about the true threats to our children.

      • Marv Waschke March 26, 2019

        I was joking about city hall and the high school, but sex offenders are no joke. I don’t know anything about the legality of a sex offender living there. If he has done his time and gone through his rehab, it may be legal, and people do change sometimes.

        However, I am grateful that the information is public. Let’s hope parents have trained their children to be careful. Ultimately, personal caution is the best protection anyone has.

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