St James Schoolhouse Building Blakiston Heritage Conservation Project
The Rotary Club of Blakiston and Council have undertaken the Heritage Conservation of the St James Schoolhouse in Blakiston.
Records and research by the Blakiston Rotary Club show that the old schoolhouse was originally constructed on Glebe land in 1848. It operated as a schoolhouse until 1932, when it became the Sunday school building for the Blakiston Church on the opposite side of Old Princes Highway. The Sunday school continued until about 1959. After this date the building fell into disrepair.
There are still a number of local residents who remember the school and Sunday school operating.
The building is believed to be the oldest school building in existence in the Hills area, and is considered of great heritage value.
The Blakiston Rotary Club initiated a Heritage trust fund for conservation of the school in 2009 and obtained donations from a local resident and former student, totaling $80,000 towards its conservation. These donations are held by the National Trust.
Council budgeted $100,000 to complement the Heritage funds in the 2011/12 budget for the Heritage Conservation Project.
A joint committee involving Blakiston Rotary Club, Council and the Heritage Architect, John Ashcroft (of Beyond Ink in Hahndorf) has been set up to manage this project.
This important Heritage Conservation Project was completed in June 2012.