Amboy School may become home to artists colony

Amboy School

The long-closed Amboy School in the desolate Route 66 hamlet of Amboy, California, may become a center for an artists colony, according to the Needles Desert Star in Needles, California.

The Needles Unified School District owns the property, and is considering selling it or leasing it to a European artists colony, the newspaper reported. An advisory committee must be formed before a decision can be made whether Amboy School should be declared surplus property and then sold.

The Amboy school is close enough for field trips for students, she said. It would be a way for the students to have interaction with artists.

McNeil said she felt the artist colony would be good for the community as a whole also. The school is right on Route 66 and many tourists are attracted to travel the historic roadway so they may be able to stop and enjoy the colony also, she added.

The story did not name or elaborate on the artists colony wanting to use the school building.

Amboy School closed in 1999.

Amboy is best-known for the historic Roy’s gas station, restaurant and motel complex. The motel remains closed, but the gas station reopened, as did the cafe as a convenience store. Amboy’s was purchased by Juan Pollo restaurant chain owner Albert Okura a few years ago.

I noted the newspaper’s story was dated April 1, which raised suspicions it was an April Fool’s prank. However, the proposal to declare Amboy School surplus property is on the March 10 meeting agenda and in supporting documents, so the story indeed appears genuine.

(Image of Amboy School by el-toro via Flickr)

4 thoughts on “Amboy School may become home to artists colony

  1. An artist colony in Amboy sounds interesting…hope it happens. Also, I noticed a “Roy’s” sign in front of a closed fast food restaurant in Barstow the other day. Is this the original Roy’s sign – it sure looks like it could be. Why would someone take it down?

  2. Good to read something positive may happen to this small Amboy school. I attended school here from 2nd thru eight grade. My mom was a employee here and retired after more then 25 years and she was also born in Amboy ca. Lots of history here for my family. My dad, my grand father uncles worked Leslie salt co. I even worked at the Roy’s cafe for a couple summer for Buster and Betty. Great memories here!

    1. Cathy,
      Wow thats amazing, I am new to California. I lived in San Diego for about a year and a half and I came across Amboy while in a class at UCSD on a trip to Joshua Tree.

      As an artist and grad student I’m totally drawn to the history of this town but the info I have come across isn’t the same as hearing from someone that grew up in the area. I would love to here more.

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