Thursday, June 3, 2021

They're tearing down my high school, but I was more sad when they got rid of my elementary school


Rendering of the new Wickliffe Schools campus

One of the biggest things going on right now in my little hometown of Wickliffe, Ohio, is the building of a new PK-12 school campus. It's a long, long, long overdue project, and it's going to bring our educational facilities out of the early to mid-20th century and into the 21st.

One result is that our three current school buildings will all be torn down. I attended two of those (the middle and high schools) and have plenty of memories wrapped up in both.

Still, I'm completely fine with it, given the expense of operating those ancient structures and the  opportunities afforded to our students at the new campus.

What I haven't gotten over, though, is the demolition of good old Mapledale Elementary, the school that stood at the end of my street where I attended kindergarten through sixth grade. That one hurt.

I spent more than half of my public school career there. I developed a love of reading, of sports, and of music there. In many ways I grew up at Mapledale.

And now it's gone, replaced by nice little houses for somewhat older folks without children, as I understand it.

Wickliffe students nowadays are dumbfounded when I tell them our city used to have three separate elementary schools. Those schools shaped so many lives, but they've faded into distant memory.

That's progress for you. On balance it's a good thing, but the older you get, the sadder it is when vestiges of your childhood fall victim to the bulldozer.

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