Alexander Baker Chronology / Projects

  • 1912-1914 – AB Construction
  • 1914-1991 – School in active use
  • 1978 – Original 6 over 9 windows replaced with aluminum
  • 1996 – Hail damage to roof & repairs made
  • 1999 – AB School (& Backus J.H.) place on Preservation Alliance of MN’s list of “10 Most Endangered Historic Buildings
  • 2002 – Citizens for Backus/AB, Inc. purchases both AB & Backus Buildings for $800
  • 2004 – AB School and Backus J.H. placed on the National Register of Historic Places
  • 2005 – Maxfield Market Analysis of AB Housing potential
  • 2008 – Approximately 14,000 s.f. roof replaced - $180,00
  • 2012 – SJA Architects develop plans for AB repurposing (Kootasca/Apartments). Meetings with Kootasca, Head Start, ISD 361
  • 2016 – Test conducted for hazardous materials
  • 2017 – Asbestos removal from third floor classroom. Other areas already encapsulated or secure
  • 2017: September – Original 1912 Boiler Refractories re-built - $68,000 w/ estimated life extended 20-30 years.
  • 2018: July – Virginia Sweatt contributes $5,000 from the “Charles B. & Margaret L. Sweatt Family Fund” to the AB project
  • 2018: August – Site visit by Preservation Alliance of MN staff – Assistance with Historic Tax Credits offered
  • 2018: October – Backus submits a Historical & Cultural grant to the MN Historical Society to fund a “Conditions Assessment” of the AB School
  • 2018: October – Community Partners Research, Inc. completes draft of county-wide housing study. Recommendation to pursue the rehabilitation and re-use of the AB School as affordable housing
  • 2018: November – KOOTASCA Community Action & Backus awarded a MN Housing Partnership “Strengthening Rural Communities” grant for technical assistance specific to the Alexander Baker project
  • 2018: November – The Housing Advocacy Committee and American Institute of Architects reach out to KOOTASCA/Backus as a participant in their “Search for Shelter Design Weekend” program
  • 2018: November 29 – Backus receives a MN Historical Society grant award of $10,000 to conduct a “Conditions Assessment” of the AB School 
  • 2018: December 6 – RFPs mailed to architects re: “Conditions Assessment” proposals

The AB Building on the left, with the Backus building being constructed to the right

The AB Building on the left, with the Backus building being constructed to the right