MADRAS, OR -- The old Westside school in downtown Madras could get new life under a new proposal. Built in 1938 as Madras Union High, the building on SW Fourth later served as Westside Elementary, until it closed in 2009.
"It’s the old Westside High School that’s been used for an elementary school, and it’s an old building," Madras Mayor Richard Ladeby tells KBND News, "We’re talking about trying to turn that into a community center and house the historical museum in there; also, the library is going to be a part of that venture." The Jefferson County Historical Museum was located for years in the old county courthouse. but its collection has been in storage since 2012.
The downtown building is already home to the Jefferson County Kids Club after-school program, "We, right now, average about 150 kids a day, Monday through Friday; so, it’s a great asset to our town. That would stay," says Ladeby. "But, then we’re also looking at adding other entities in there. Right now, we haven’t come up with any set plan of who, but we’ll have a kitchen in there, dining areas; we’re looking at two basketball courts or gymnasiums." He's optimistic others will come on board to support the project and move it forward.