Nonagenarian not counting on schoolhouse birthday celebration

Lula Kendall was hoping to celebrate her 96th birthday at the new Silver City Schoolhouse, which will replace the one she attended as a child. But she isn't counting on it.

"At the rate they're going, I'd have to see it to believe it," she said.

But she plans on attending the groundbreaking of the school she attended, as did her sisters, parents and children.

Her birthday is Sept. 1, but she will celebrate Sept. 15 with a party, probably at the Silver City Fire Station, which has housed all of the historic town's gatherings since the July 7, 2004, fire that destroyed the 1867 schoolhouse.

"If it's not done, we'll have it in the firehouse," she said.

The schoolhouse has been the subject of a dispute between Lyon County officials and the insurance company, ASC Business Insurance Services Inc. of Sparks. That dispute has held up financing a new community center.

Lyon County Commissioners voted this month to accept a $784,000 bid from Building Solutions Inc. to rebuild the building. They will pay for it out of the county's Surplus Building Maintenance Fund.

The building is scheduled to be completed in October, but Kendall said she'll wait and see.

"The way Lyon County does things, I wouldn't bet on it," she said.

She wouldn't try to guess what might have been there before the schoolhouse.

Kendall spent first through seventh grade at the 137-year-old schoolhouse, then called simply the Silver City School, from 1918-25.

She then transferred to Dayton High School, another historic building now containing the Dayton Community Center on Pike Street.

The Silver City building was used as a school until 1958.

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or 882-2111, ext. 351.


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