Paradise, Montana, was once a thriving railroad town in the northwest part of the state, but has been in decline since the railroad industry closed its Paradise facility. One of the community’s last landmarks is the Paradise Elementary School, which closed its doors in May 2013 due to an inadequate number of students. The school sits on a hill overlooking the town of Paradise, facing State Highway 200, and includes two buildings and a large outdoor space.
The Montana History Foundation contributed to a feasibility study that assessed the possibility and viability of repurposing the Paradise Elementary School as a community center, visitor center, and art center. It was determined that the physical structures/property can be adapted for the uses proposed with modest accommodation, maintenance, and accessibility upgrades while maintaining the original integrity of the school.