WINDHAM — It’s one of the town’s gems, standing to this day as a prime example of Gothic Revival architecture while remaining a beloved building, with supporters hoping the legacy stays strong.
The Searles School and Chapel, once used as community schoolhouse, needs repairs done to its tower, mortar and stonework.
And voters gave the historic building a big vote of support on election day, March 10, approving a warrant article for $300,000 to support those repairs and upgrades.
The vote tally was 1,823 in favor, 864 against. The article needed 60% majority to pass and the final vote was a 67% percent approval.
The historic landmark was built between 1907 and 1909, designed by English architect Henry Vaughan and donated to the town by millionaire and well-known philanthropist Edward F. Searles.
Searles built the schoolhouse for the town in exchange for an existing school building he wanted to secure as part of his 1,200-acre estate nearby. The building became one of Windham’s six one-room schoolhouses dotting the community’s landscape.
The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.