Sitting atop a hill overlooking the town of Latah, Washington, sits a former high school-turned-home — and it’s on the market for $699,000.
Known as Latah School or Union High School, the entire property sits on a 1.43-acre lot in Latah, Washington, according to the listing.
The main building was built in 1908 and is one of the “oldest, largest, and best-preserved rural brick schools in the Palouse agricultural region of southeast Spokane County,” according to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).
The last group of students graduated in 1958 and the school was converted into a space for community events and town meetings, according to the NRHP. The property was finally vacated in 1961 and has changed hands several times since.
The building is now owned by HRC Ministries, a nonprofit that has used the space as a halfway house for victims of trafficking, listing agent Connie Newman told Insider.
HRC Ministries was originally founded in 2015 as an outreach ministry, but evolved over time into an anti-trafficking organization, according to their website.
The old school building was used as a shelter where women who survived trafficking could live, Jennifer Tillotson, director of development at HRC Ministries, told Insider.
The property was a place where they could receive advice and learn new skills to reintegrate into society, she added.
“We originally purchased the property because of its rural location and large living spaces,” Tillotson said.
The two-story Latah School spans a total of 15,880 square feet, according to the listing.
“Because we work with survivors of trafficking, we thought having a place to rest and relax while having a large room to themselves would be great for their recovery,” Tillotson said.
The organization purchased the Latah School building in 2019, according to List History. They first listed the property for sale in March 2022 for $749,000 before reducing its price to $699,000 in July.
Homes in Latah, Washington, have a median price of $450,000, according to data from real estate platform Realtor.com.
The $699,000 former school is the only single-family home for sale in the area. The other three active listings are for land and their prices range from $30,000 to $175,000, per Realtor.com.
HRC Ministries is selling Latah School as it has decided to move the shelter closer to town.
The property is located about a 45-minute drive from Spokane, a major city in Washington state, according to Google Maps.
“We underestimated the number of women who were going to need emergency services on a daily basis, so we had to move closer to the city,” Tillotson said.
Latah School has five bedrooms, six bathrooms and two large family rooms that were once classrooms.
The property has been renovated in recent years – most of which was completed by the previous owners who converted the space into a family home and rental wedding venue, listing agent Newman said.
“During our ownership, we kept everything as the previous owners left it, including the basement items from World War II,” Tillotson said. These include medical supplies, dried food and other emergency items.
The HRC ministries also carried out some structural renovations, including the installation of a new roof and a sewer line, as listed.
The gymnasium was added to the main Latah School building in 1920. It was restored in 2000, with repainted walls and refinished solid maple flooring.
A basketball hoop stands at one end of the gymnasium, while the other end is a theater stage.
“The ladies used the gym to release stress and bond with staff and each other through working out, playing basketball and listening to music,” Tillotson said.
It was also a space where they could have fun and sing out loud, she added.
Due to the property’s zoning license, future owners can live there or use it for commercial ventures such as short-term rentals, Newman said.
An ideal buyer would be someone who takes into consideration the needs of the community and the surrounding region, Newman said.
“It will be someone who appreciates this building, takes care of it and makes it a successful property in this region,” she said.
She also responded to requests from several interested parties who plan to open the gymnasium for school proms as well as community events and gatherings, she added.
“This property helped serve our mission because it was a place of peace for the ladies to escape to,” Tillotson said.
“It was even hard for some to even accept that they were worth the cost of living there because of the grand look and atmosphere and what they were coming out of,” Tillotson said.
With most women coming from a life where they were beaten for years, ownership made them feel safe, worthy and special, she added.