HAZARD-The view on Broadway Street in Hazard will see a change in the upcoming months. The Housing Development Alliance (HDA) has taken ownership of the Lower Broadway School building located at 325 Broadway, with funding from the Federal Office of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and plans to demolish it and build new, low-income housing there.
The Lower Broadway School was built in 1913 to provide schooling for both elementary and high school students in Hazard and Perry County as the coal boom swelled the area population. An explosion in the population overran the school by 1920 and the Hazard High School was built on Baker Street in 1924.
At that point, the Lower Broadway School only housed grades one through four. There is no documentation showing when the Lower Broadway School fell out of use, but Walkertown Elementary was constructed in 1957 and Roy G. Eversole Elementary in 1960.
The Lower Broadway School was used as an administration building for some time until the building fell into disrepair and was abandoned.
Jayne Goddard, a Preservation Specialist with Palmer Engineering, has been conducting the historic documentation of the school. The National Historic Preservation Act in 1966, section 106, provides funding to conduct the documentation to determine if an undertaking will have an adverse effect on a historical site; which this will since the building is to be demolished.
Goddard stated that she hoped some of the materials could be salvaged for use in a museum exhibit about the school.
“The building is in really poor shape but there are some exterior materials and some on the inside that could be salvageable before they tear it down,” Goddard said.
Because the Lower Broadway School is of such historical significance, Goddard is seeking additional information from former teachers, students and administrators. Goddard can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at Palmer Engineering 859-744-1218.
Gewndolyn Holliday can be reached at 606-436-5771, or on Twitter @HazardHerald.