Old Glory shines again outside historic school
Old Glory is once again fluttering through the air in front of the historic Kasson School.
On Flag Day, the Kasson Alliance for Restoration (KARE) dedicated a new flagpole and raised a new American flag at the main entrance to the school in recognition of the school’s 100thanniversary.
A small gathering of people watched as the Kasson American Legion Color Guard honored veterans on Flag Day with the new flag. “We are here to honor and remember the veterans that attended this school,” said KARE president Jerry Giese. He noted the school was built during World War I in 1918.
Giese recalled how students practiced citizenship in the school for many years. “They said the Pledge of Allegiance and a couple of students raised the flag every morning,” he said.
During the 78 years that the school was operating, various conflicts took place across the world, including World War II, Korean, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Golf War and Iraq. “Many served. Let us never forget their sacrifices,” Giese said. “You can never honor our veterans enough.”
Mayor Chris McKern shared with the audience how it was “a big deal to be on Flag duty” while attending school. He said students always folded it up nicely and perfectly. “It would be a good suggestion for the schools to get back to it,” he said.
Giese said a flag had been absent from the historic building for the past 10 years. The original flagpole was taken out by the City of Kasson and auctioned off, he said. At the time, the city was getting ready to demolish the school, which closed in 1996.
But things have changed since then, and the school appears to have been saved from the wrecking ball. Giese said the school has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places, and a grant through the Minnesota Historical Society has been received by KARE.
KARE formed as a non-profit organization dedicated to finding a way to rehabilitate rather than demolish the building as well as furthering historic preservation within Kasson.
The site has also undergone a study on historic properties reuse. “There is no mention that this building should be demolished,” Giese said.
The group has been actively looking for a developer to take over the site. The latest idea being tossed around is refurbishing it into a community center.