Richard Colburn Photographer
Counselor's Office, Cook School, Closed 2012, Cook, Minnesota 2012Orr School, Closed 2011, Orr, Minnesota 2013Cook School, Closed 2012, Cook, Minnesota 2012Cotton School, Cotton, Minnesota 2012. Closed 2011Natatorium, White Pine School, Closed 2003, White Pine, Michigan 2003Senior's Lounge, Malcolm Price Laboratory School, Cedar Falls, Iowa 2012. Closed 2012Elementary Classroom, Malcolm Price Laboratory School, Cedar Falls, Iowa 2012. Closed 2012Technology Room, Malcolm Price Laboratory School, Cedar Falls, Iowa 2012. Closed 2012Alkabo School, Closed 1971, Alkabo, North Dakota  2003Cyrus School, Closed 2013, Cyrus, Minnesota 2013Regent Elementary School, Closed 2003, Regent, North Dakota 2010Classroom, Upham School, Closed 2003, Upham, North Dakota 2003Karl, Central Flyway Outfitters, Formerly Kramer School, Closed 1991, Kramer, North Dakota 2003Washington School, Closed 2009, Osage Iowa 2011Lineville-Clio School, Closed 2010, Lineville, Iowa 2011Library, Albrook School, Saginaw, Minnesota 2012. Closed 2011Home Economics Room, Toivola-Meadowlands School, Closed 1998,
Meadowlands, Minnesota 2011Bray Elementary School, Closed 2003, Biwabik, Minnesota 2011Toivola-Meadowlands School, Closed 1998
Meadowlands, Minnesota 2011Sarles School, Closed @ 1975, Sarles, North Dakota 2010
The Sarles School Preservation Association has been work to save the building.Sarles School, Closed @ 1975, Sarles, North Dakota 2010
The Sarles School Preservation Association has been work to save the building.Elgin - New Leipzig Junior High School, Closed 2004, New Leipzig, North Dakota 2010Guest Room, Okaton School, Closed @ 1975 Okaton, South Dakota 2010Conde School, Closed 2009, Conde, South Dakota 2010Close Construction Company, Formerly Milton-Osnabrock High School, Closed 2001, Milton, North Dakota 2005Regent High School, Closed 2009, Regent, North Dakota 2010Elementary Classroom, Albrook School, Saginaw, Minnesota, 2012. Closed 2011Hampton-Dumont Intermediate School, Dumont, Iowa, Closed 2009, 2009Classroom Upham School, Closed 2003, Upham, North Dakota 2003Alamo School, Closed 1990, Alamo, North Dakota  2004Regan School, Closed 1988, Regan, North Dakota 2010Regent Elementary School, Closed 2003, Regent, North Dakota 2010Bathroom, Harrold School, Closed 2009, Harrold, South Dakota 2010Classroom, Harrold School, Closed 2009, Harrold, South Dakota 2010Shop, Bowdon School Closed 2001, Bowdon, North Dakota  2004Wildrose School, Closed 2007, Wildrose, North Dakota 2008Bowdon School, Closed 2001, Bowdon, North Dakota  2004Dinner Theater, Clifford High School, Closed 1993, Clifford, North Dakota 2004Natatorium, White Pine School, Closed 2003, White Pine, Michigan 2003Gym, Alamo School, Closed 1990, Alamo, North Dakota  2004Gym, Steamboat Rock High School, Closed 1999, Steamboat Rock, Iowa  2003Robinson High School, Closed 1998, Robinson, North Dakota 2009Classroom With Map, Willow City School, Closed 2003, Willow City, North Dakota 2003Home Economics Room, Cotton School, Closed 2011, Cotton, Minnesota 2012. Home Economics Room With Clock, Willow City School, Closed 2003, Willow City, North Dakota
2003Science Room, Veblen High School, Closed 2003, Veblen, South Dakota 2004Fredericksburg High School, Closed 2004, Fredericksburg, Iowa  2004Science Room, East Monona School, Closed 2003, Moorhead, Iowa 2003Desks, Bowdon School,Closed 2001, Bowdon, North Dakota  2004Haunted House Decorations, McHenry School, Closed 1992, McHenry, North Dakota  2005Master Bedroom, McHenry School, Closed 1992,
Purchased In 2007 To Be A Home, McHenry, North Dakota 2008"Rescue Randy", Woodbury County Public Safety Center, Formerly Climbing Hill School, Closed 1992, Climbing Hill, Iowa  2003Alkabo School, Closed 1971, Alkabo, North Dakota  2003Hanna Honey Company, Formerly Coleharbor School, Closed 1965, Coleharbor, North Dakota 2004Back Up Communications Center, Woodbury County Public Safety Center, Formerly Climbing Hill School, Closed 1992, Climbing Hill, Iowa 2003Science Room, Aneta School, Closed 1996, Aneta, North Dakota  2004Bedroom, McHenry School, Closed 1992, Purchased in 2007 To Be a Home, McHenry, North Dakota 2008Curtains, Home Economics Room, Willow City School, Closed 2003, Willow City, North Dakota 2003Bedroom, Clifford High School, Closed 1993, Clifford, North Dakota 2004Auction, Upham School, Closed 2003, Upham, North Dakota  2003Classroom, Upham School, Closed 2003, Upham, North Dakota 2003Senior Citizen's Room, Formerly Portal School, Closed 1968, Portal, North Dakota  2003Tuttle-Pettibone High School, Closed 2007, Tuttle, North Dakota 2008Mural, Central Flyway Outfitters, Formerly Kramer School, Closed 1991, Kramer, North Dakota 2003Bisbee School, Closed 2008, Bisbee, North Dakota
2008
Closed Schools
Attending school is a common experience although for each of us the exact details are different. Each school I photograph evokes recollections of my days as a student.
Photographing schools that have closed is a way to address the changing demographics and economies of the region. Attendant to these changes in a local economy is a decline in the population, specifically the population of young families. When there are fewer families, fewer schools are required. The majority of these schools were the single school in the community. They were vital to the life of the community. Although the sequence may vary, the closing of a school would often be followed by closing of the only grocery store and perhaps the local post office.
Rural schools sometimes close due to a decline in funding but most often it is due to a shortage of students. Although the school district had adequate funding to maintain the school, the City Auditor of Regan, North Dakota, explained, “17 students, 4 teachers, and a cook, it didn’t make any sense.” When closed, a school, once a dependable community institution, becomes a powerful descriptor of a community’s prospects.


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