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Carol Perkins: Old Metcalfe County High Memories
'Whether to leave an empty building or demolish it often creates an emotional stir' Carol Perkins writes as she affectionately remembers with nostalgic memories of the Old Edmonton High School Building and especially, her old Metcalfe County High School
On Sunday, August 31, 2014, from 1pmCT to 4pmCT, the Metcalfe County School Board and Dr. Benny Lile are hosting a "Final Tour" of the building at 100 Hornet Avenue, Edmonton, KY (school fronts on US 68/80, W Stockton Street) of the one time Metcalfe County High School, later Metcalfe County Middle School, which is a walking tour through the building before demolition begins in September.
By Carol Perkins
Buildings. There are buildings and then there are just buildings. There are buildings that gave us a stage for our lives to unfold and then there are buildings. There are buildings we grieve over their loss like a close friend and then there are buildings. Schools are more than just buildings. Whether good or bad, most will have an attachment to a school building from the past.
Fortunate to have gone to school in 'old' buildings
In one way, I was fortunate enough to go to school in "old" buildings. My grade school days were in white boarded buildings surrounding the "big" building, which was the original Edmonton High School. The fact we students had to go to outlying bathrooms (not outhouses but bathrooms in other buildings) was not an issue. We ran fast and returned fast. No one thought of skipping out and heading for town. The fact we had to go to lunch in the big building whether the weather was freezing cold or scorching hot was not an issue. We had no air conditioning and certainly no smart boards or computers. Basic supplies for a basic education are what we had and that was and never has been an issue.
Some of buildings hauled into Edmonton from out in county
Some of those buildings had been hauled in from the depths of the community when one room schools closed. The smell of chalk dust and oiled floors and the vision of wooden desks and tables with too many students crowded into a small space are the memories those buildings hold. When the school closed and students went to the new elementary school with modern facilities the buildings were left to ruin and even today there are signs of where they once stood overgrown with weeds.
Old Edmonton High & Graded recurs in my dreams
The "big" building reoccurs in some of my dreams. The three story structure (now owned by the owners of Hall Place in Glasgow) housed high school students during my early years. I would see them at recess-the girls in their pull over sweaters with white collars and circle skirts and bobby socks; the guys looking like Elvis. The focal point of the school was the gym, which had a sagging balcony. Many outstanding basketball players fell onto the stage after making jump shots. When the new high school was completed for the class of 1958, the seventh and eighth graders moved to the big building .
Those who attended can still recall every inch of it
Those who went to school in this building can still recall every inch of it from the bathrooms to the coal room. To the candy room to the dressing rooms. To the Ag. shop to the principal's office. This isn't exclusive to my classmates. It is true for those who went to Temple Hill High School, Hiseville High School, Park City, Fountain Run, Austin Tracy, and all those other community schools that were so precious. During my school days, I was in all of them for basketball games.
To raze or not to raze creates an emotional stir
Whether to leave an empty building or demolish it often creates an emotional stir. Part of my high school building and the building where I taught most of my thirty four years will soon go down. Each of my teachers put his/her mark on a room. Even though many of those teachers are now gone, their presence is still in those rooms. I can see Ms. Ruth Ennis at the chalk board, standing over a nervous student who was trying to work an algebra problem. I see Mrs. Butler helping me put a zipper in a dress and Mrs. Wallace trying to teach me to make biscuits. There were so many others who influenced my life and then later my career and each one began and ended in that building.
'Final Walk' is Sunday, August 31, 2014
Sunday, August 31, 2014, the Metcalfe County School Board and Dr. Benny Lile are hosting a "Final Tour" which is a walking tour through the building before demolition begins in September. Former teachers will be gathered in the gym for a meet and greet and Dr. Lile will give opening remarks around one. Everyone is invited to take that last walk and share those memories with fellow classmates and teachers.
I am attached to that building. However, holding on to a building is impossible. Down with the concrete and the walls and the windows and the floors but the history-our history-will remain. (The building is the original Metcalfe Co. High School from 1958-1994 and then later the middle school.)
Carol Perkins, the writer, is an author, weekly radio talk show Host on The Hoss, 99.1 FM, on the Tuesdays at 10amCT, Susan (Chambers) & Carol (Perkins) Unscripted and is owner of Main Street Screenprinting PO Box 1051 601 S. Main Street Edmonton, KY 42120 270-432-3152 270-670-4913
This story was posted on 2014-08-28 05:08:04
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