District seeks Bowlus guidance

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August 23, 2016 - 12:00 AM

Iola school board officials agreed Monday night to ask for “legal guidance” in regards to the Bowlus Fine Arts Center and whether they can not only remove classes from the Center but also themselves as its guardians, if they so desire.

Daniel Schowengerdt, an attorney with Johnson Schowengerdt, PA, and representing USD 257, summarized the board’s petition for the court at Monday night’s meeting, saying the will of benefactor Thomas H. Bowlus does not stipulate the Center be a “school house” for the fine arts and thus the district should not be obligated to hold such classes there.

Upon his death in 1960, Bowlus left the bulk of his million-dollar estate and his home at the corner of Sycamore and Madison to the Iola school district for the purpose of creating a fine arts center that would engender and perpetuate a love and understanding of the arts for local school children and the community at large. The Center celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015.

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