Our Past

The people that built and designed our building probably did not envision how much it would serve our community and impact the lives of people for so many years. Built in 1915 for the cost of $17,775.00, it was used as the Salem High School. Nine years later in 1924, the gymnasium was completed at a cost of $65,000.00. Used as a high school from 1915 to 1950, this building was a source of education and a variety of scholastic and athletic activities. In 1951, Salem Community High School was moved to its present location, and the building became the Junior High School and was used to educate sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students. In 1959, the existing cafeteria, second and third floor classrooms, and band room were added as the school’s population grew. In 1979, Franklin Park School was completed and the children were moved there to continue their education. The building sat empty from this time until Thelma Bailey purchased it at auction in 1981. This woman’s drive and determination began the process of turning the abandoned building into what it is today. Mrs. Bailey invested over $100,000.00 of her own money to make several of the initial and vital repairs and then formed a volunteer Board of Directors to oversee and operate the center.