Abandoned School in Bourbon County



This picture was taken of Center Hill School back in 2015 before the roof fell in. The picture in front of the school where the main entrance is by the office.

Breanna Rison , Staff Writer

Students that go to Bourbon County High School have probably gone to one of the three elementary schools: Cane Ridge, Bourbon Central, and North Middletown. Cane Ridge has only been built for about 32 years. If Cane Ridge has only been around for 32 years, what school did students go to before it was built? In 1990-1991, Centerhill, which was a school out in the country at the junction of Russell Cave and Hawkins-Cummins road, moved their students to Bourbon Central Elementary for half the year. While the Cane Ridge school was being built, Center Hill was built in the summer of 1918 due to it being built so long ago there were a few problems. 

The building was painted with paint that had lead in it. Lead in paint causes a lot of problems with your health. Along with the lead paint, the electric wiring was very old and there were a lot of leak holes in the roof of the school. In an interview Milissa Soard, a former student of Center Hill said “I remember in the gym room they had buckets all over the gym floor to catch the waters from the leaking roof. When it rained, there would be more buckets and sometimes we wouldn’t have gym class because of the leaks.” The building got so old they had to move their students because they had no other choice. 

In 1991, Center Hill had to move all their students to Bourbon Central, which was the only elementary school in Bourbon at the time. Along with the leaks and the paint, the population of students was multiplying and there wasn’t much room for the students any more. They had all these students in one school, which you might have guessed was very hectic. “I remember in the beginning of 5th grade they moved us to Bourbon Central and it wasn’t very big for all of us kids. Every room was full with more than 20 kids, I believe. They had classes in every room and closet. They had class in the hallways also. This only lasted a little while because I finished 5th grade in Cane Ridge.” Milissa stated. 

Where is Center Hill now? It’s still at the junction of Russell Cave and Hawkins-Cummins road. It’s barely standing. From 1921 to 2017, it was used for the family of Milissa, her grandfather owned the old schools since she was a child. “I had a slumber party when I was little in one of the rooms in the school.” Melissa goes to add “I had two of my baby showers in the cafeteria. At some point, my cousin was living in the school.”  The school was in her family for years; in 2017 after her grandmother passed, they sold the old school. Now, the roof has collapsed and the old building is not in use anymore.“It’s sad to see the school in this condition, especially  with all of the good memories of the time I went there as a student and the time I had my baby shower.” she ended. 

Asked if they heard about Center Hill, Kaylee Swafford, a student from Bourbon County High School, said “Although history is important so we don’t repeat past mistakes, we are too busy learning about history that happened forever ago that we look over the importance of our own local history. Our local history needs to be talked about. I had no idea this school existed until you asked me.” Another student Grace Denninghoff said “I did not know about Center Hill until you asked me about it, but after you explained it to me I wish I did know more. I’ve always enjoyed learning history but we’ve never been taught the history of where we are and that saddens me.” She goes on to add, “I would have loved to learn more about the old schools and why we don’t use them anymore.”  It’s a shock that students don’t know much or nothing about the old schools around Bourbon County.