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Topeka High School Historical Society reveals restoration project

TOPEKA (KSNT) — The Topeka High School Historical Society rededicated the Topeka High School main concourse on Monday morning.

“This project took about 10 weeks and cost $140,000,” said Michelle Neis, president of the THS Historical Society. “We started in October 2022 and completed in early January 2023. There were 4 to 6 layers of industrial paint that had been stripped from the original stone walls.”

The restoration project took 10 weeks to complete and involved removing four coats of paint from the original walls and applying a clear sealer for easy cleaning in the future. The plaster ceiling, crown molding and arch were also repainted.

“It’s been fun to see the process happen,” said Rebecca Morsey – Principal, Topeka High. “I appreciate the historical society and the people who took the vision to make it stand out even more. It’s a beautiful foyer and always has been.

The restoration cost $140,000 and was made possible by a gift from THS graduate Doris Derrington, class of 1951. Derrington was an active alumnus who died in 2021 at the age of 87.

The THS Historical Society was the driving force in maintaining the original designers’ vision of this National Register property. The school was built at a cost of over $1.1 million and opened in 1931. The gothic building on Southwest 10th Ave. has seen thousands of students, faculty and families walk through its doors over the past 92 years.

JF McGivern Inc. was the contractor on the project.

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