MILTON-FREEWATER — Steffany Esser is going in, come dust or shotgun shells.

Esser, a social studies teacher at McLoughlin High School, is helping the Milton-Freewater Unified School District clean out Grove Elementary School in preparation for its closure. She will be part of a team of volunteers manning a “schoolyard” sale that starts Friday to sell off aged and unneeded classroom fixtures.

The elderly school at 129 SE 15th Ave. is slated for demolition in the near future so a soccer complex can be constructed on its site. Built in 1908 as Milton’s first school and added on to in 1956, the Grove campus is no longer cost-effective to maintain, Superintendent Rob Clark said.

The district does not have the funds, nor is it reimbursed, for maintaining facilities that have historical significance, Clark added, noting the property will continue to serve Milton-Freewater children as a soccer field.

The town and district have moved on to prepare for the completion of the Gib Olinger Elementary School a few blocks north. The new school on Mill Street is set to open for the 2018-2019 school year.

In the meantime, Grove has been used this summer by local police departments for active-shooter drills, hence those shell casings, Esser said.

Plus? Bookshelves for days. And it all has to go — no reasonable offer refused.

From chairs to desks to old electronics to magazine racks, all will be priced at $1, $5 or $10, with the proceeds split between Mac-Hi’s National Honor Society, Varsity Club and cheerleading groups.

Students from those organizations will be on hand to help shoppers. Since the sale space is crowded and a bit disorganized, the setup will be along the lines of using a personal shopper, Esser said. “Tell us what you’re looking for and they can go get it.”

The sale is cash only, and the goal is to clear $1,000 for club coffers.

Esser’s biggest hope is that the predicted heat wave in the Walla Walla Valley won’t cook their chances of a good turnout, she added.

The sale will take place 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday and begins again Saturday at 8 a.m. with a flexible end time, depending on sales.

For more information call, the district office at 541-938-3551.

Sheila Hagar can be reached at or 526-8322.

Sheila Hagar has written for the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin since 1998. Sheila covers education in the Walla Walla Valley. She also writes a column, Home Place, usually highlighting family life and slices of local life.