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The history behind the Albion Normal School campus

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ALBION — The Albion Normal School was established in 1893 through an act of the Idaho Legislature, according to Idaho State University documents, and it opened in 1894 with a 26 students.

Enrollment peaked in 1939, and in 1947 the name was changed to Southern Idaho College of Education. In 1951, the last commencement ceremony was held at the school and the programs were transferred to Idaho State College in Pocatello.

In 1959 the campus reopened as Magic Valley Christian College, a private liberal arts college that closed in 1969. Hansen Hall, a women’s dormitory, was torn down in the 1980s, and Swanger Hall burned in 1947. The other buildings sat vacant for decades ravaged by time and vandals.

The campus was deeded to the City of Albion in the 1970s, according to Idaho Heritage Trust, and the deteriorating property was sold at a public auction.

The small town with corresponding coffers did not have the funds for its upkeep.

A private business that included Troy and Heather Mortensen, submitted the winning bid of nearly $900,000 in June 2007.

The campus is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


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