The Root Schoolhouse:
A Community Space
Our vision is to provide a unique venue for our community to enjoy educational, social and cultural gatherings, in a building that has a special place in the history of Norwich, Vermont.
Step into history! Enjoy the Root Schoolhouse, a community space
Welcome to our website! On these pages you will learn the story of a very special Vermont one-room schoolhouse. We hope you enjoy browsing our website and will visit us as we reopen to be a vital part of the community!
Relive Our Reopening Celebration:
Over 100 friends and neighbors joined us for live music, children’s games, and refreshments as we celebrated the years-long collaboration that restored this historic treasure, allowing us to re-open as a community center.
Root Schoolhouse Board President Courtney Dobyns expressed gratitude to all the people who helped make this day a reality:
“It’s so heart warming to know that a small band of dedicated neighbors can make a difference and create a reason to celebrate in our local community. With your help we saved this building from the ravages of water and time. It has been a delightful and sometimes overwhelming experience.…
With so much going on in the world as people get displaced because of conflict and climate change, we are proud to call this schoolhouse a place for community resilience.….
In this spirit, we open the doors of the restored Root Schoolhouse to the community at large as a unique, welcoming and vital space in which to enjoy each other, to replenish, rejuvenate and sustain ourselves and our community. Now it’s up to you to create your own events and to carry on the schoolhouse community tradition. We are open for business!”
Read Courtney’s full remarks here.
View the photos of our celebration below. Thanks to Chad Finer and Ken Turino for their photo contributions.
Root Schoolhouse Updates
In May 2021, our Board met in the Schoolhouse to brainstorm how to communicate the opportunities of this building as a resource to the town. Norwich neighbor Holly Kania facilitated the session.
In June 2021, Graham Webster and Blake Spencer completed the ADA access and driveway work. After a decade of restoration, we are in the final stages of this phase of the restoration!
Thank you for your support!
A Decade of Work
Since 2011, the Schoolhouse has been closed to the public. A small group of supporters and volunteers have done research, planning, fundraising, and finally have restored much of the building. Thanks to generous donors and granting organizations, it is now time to reopen the building again.
Much of the work has been done on the Root Schoolhouse since 2019. It was lifted, the drainage was improved, and the old foundation was replaced. In 2020, thanks to one donor, the building was repainted and the historic windows were restored. Over the past year, we have also updated the electrical wiring, enlarged the back door, restored the globe light fixtures, and finally built an ADA access ramp and parking space.
We are currently raising the funds: for the railing on the ADA ramp, for the front porch railings and for the completion of a new roof. All the necessary elements needed for the VT Safety Requirements have been completed and the occupancy permit has been granted. We can now enjoy the building on a seasonal basis from May to October. Please stay tuned for more news of how to rent the schoolhouse, and for more opportunities to enjoy this community center. The local community has been involved in several successful brainstorm sessions to consider how they would like to enjoy the space.
Future enhancements such as a kitchen counter replacement, ceiling repair, interior painting, chimney pointing, landscaping and shoulder season heating to extend the use of the building will depend on continued support from donors.
We would like to thank our local contractors and artisans who generously donated their time at reduced rates or as an in-kind donation: Graham Webster of Webster and Donovan, Paul Derkson of Turning Leaf, and Blake Spencer, Sean Dalton of Spencer Associates and Rye Keller for the iron railings on the front steps. John Vincent former board member and retired engineer was instrumental as a project manager during the foundation replacement phase.
If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation, please see our donation information. Thank you for your support.
Root District Game Club
A 501(c)(3) Not for Profit