final tribute to an old friend
By April Durham
This Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. the Delmar Jr./Sr. High School will host
a final walk through of the old school building. The event is to commemorate
the school's history before its demolition and give the public a last
chance to pay tribute to the community's heritage. Refreshments will
be served at the event.
"The school is the center of our community. This building was built
in 1928, that's 72 years and three or four generations of students
that have gone through here," said Dr. Harry Hoffer, Delmar assistant
After the walk through, residents will be able to order a commemorative
video that will show events leading to the old school's demolition,
the demolition, construction of the new building and its completion.
The video will cost $20 and will include a commemorative bookmark.
Videos will be available in the fall. Proceeds raised will go back
into the school for the students.
Following the completion of school on June 9 the old school will be
torn down. The Delmar faculty will begin moving into the new building
that following Monday. Upon students' return to school the 93,000-square
foot building will be replaced with the 143,000-square foot facility.
The new school house will have 18 classrooms for the middle school
including a middle-level intensive learning center and 30- to 35-station
computer lab. The high school will house 29 classrooms and two additional
computer lab rooms. Each teacher will have a classroom and more than
550 internet connections. In the old school building there were fewer
than 100 connections.
"Technology was growing so fast that this building couldn't handled
it. We're going to lose a little bit of our history, culture and tradition
but I remind the people here that at one point in time in Delmar there
was a little one-room school house down across from the post office
and somebody had the foresight to build this building. I'm sure in
1928 this was just as big if not bigger for those people to go from
those little wood frame buildings to the building were in right now.
Now people have had the forethought to build for the next century,"
Erected around 1865, the first Delmar, Del., school was a one-room
building furnished with long benches and desks made of planks.
The school was built at the corner of First and Grove Streets on land
donated by Winder Hastings. In 1885 when the building burned, a two-story
building was erected in its place. In 1928 the present school was
built at the eastern end of Jewel Street.
Trying to keep sight of the school's heritage, several things will
be taken to the new building: the front of the old school building
will be embedded into the front of the new school building and the
marque will be embedded into a wall of the school.
A 2000 cornerstone will be placed in one corner of the building and
the 1928 cornerstone will be placed in the other corner.
Plaques around the building that identity the annexations, student
memorials and the center of the basketball court where the school
mascot is painted will be cut out and taken to the new school.
Next school year the school is expecting an enrollment increase from
the present 785 to 940 when the sixth-graders move into the new facility.
are quotes from people who are involved in the school.
Pat Naugle - "When we first started talking about building a new school
I quite honestly had very mixed emotions about it because I'm in my
24th year. It's sad thinking about the destruction and demolition
of this building. However as we approach the time of moving into the
new school I am getting very excited about the move because it is
time. With modern technology the way it is today and the increased
population of the school district we definitely have outgrown the
Beth Phillips - "My hope is that we continue to be a community school,
family oriented. Yes, it will be a change, shows of new beginnings.
It will be sad to see this building go. It's served its purpose well
for 22 years. It's a growing community now and we need more space."
Sue Weber - "I think there are a lot of memories and things here that
we're going to miss but we desperately need the space and we desperately
need a new facility. Overall I think it will be good not just for
students but for all of us."
Betty Messick - "I feel the move will be more spread out and I feel
like we might lose some of our closeness. However it should be much
quieter and less congested. I am excited now at first I wasn't. I
think just the idea of this building going with so many memories in
it, but yes now I am ready and excited to move."
Joyce Briggs - "I'm saddened that most of the existing buildings will
be demolished. However, I won't miss the cramped quarters. I look
forward to working in the new facility."
Stephanie Frayne, 8th grade - "I like it and I don't like it. I like
it because it's new and nicer but in the old school we had bigger
lockers and we didn't have to put our book bags in lockers. I'm glad
they're taking some things into the new school so we can remember
the old school."
Stephanie McWilliams, 8th grade - "The new one's ok. I just like the
old one better because it has more history.
Lauren Shockley 10th grader - "I think it will be hard when we move
in there because we don't know where anything is. So it will be like
going back to seventh-grade all over again."
Jay Green, principal - "I think we're going to go in with a fresh
outlook. Our office now it is very congested but in the new building
everybody will be spread out and have a little more room to operate
in. It will make working conditions a lot easier to cope with."
Juley Harper, 8th grade teacher and Delmar's new teacher of the year
- "I think our entire school is experiencing a renaissance right now.
We're adding 13 new faculty and new administration. It will be sad
when the building goes down but everyone is happy to see the new facility."