While the Dungeness Schoolhouse appears much as it did 50-plus years ago when classes of schoolchildren still roamed its hallways, the historical structure has undergone several high-tech updates in the past two months to ensure that it remains a vibrant and safe community facility.
The Museum & Arts Center in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley enlisted Clallam County Fire District 3 Fire Inspector Patrick Young to conduct a complete safety inspection of the Dungeness Schoolhouse. Based on Young’s recommendations, a new fire detection and warning system with 24-hour electronic monitoring was installed, as was new panic bar door hardware on all exterior doors. Fire extinguishers also were inspected and replaced as necessary.
“The MAC takes very seriously its responsibility to our members and volunteers, and community issues of health and safety,” said DJ Bassett, Museum & Arts Center executive director.
“We strive to prevent and avoid problems before they occur.”
Bassett said similar safety inspections will be conducted in the near future at all other Museum & Arts Center facilities, including the MAC Exhibit Center, the DeWitt Center and the Second Chance Consignment Shop.
Young said that working with MAC officials, including Bassett and Dungeness Schoolhouse manager John Majors, to complete the safety upgrade of the Dungeness Schoolhouse was a pleasure and that “the energy and positive thoughts (they) share about fire prevention make the goal of creating a safer place for our residents, guests and visitors easier to accomplish.”
Opened in 1893, the Dungeness Schoolhouse operated until 1955, when Dungeness School District No. 29 consolidated with Sequim School District No. 323. The school was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 19, 1988, and became a division of the Museum & Arts Center in January 1995.
The schoolhouse retains its educational heritage as a venue for Peninsula College classes throughout the year and is available for rental for community events.
For more information, see www.macsequim.org.