There were Middletown Middie memories for sale on Saturday during a public auction in the historic and soon-to-be-demolished old high school.
A pair of auctioneers went from classroom to classroom, moving almost as fast they rattled off cut-rate bargain prices for anything left in the former Middletown High School, which is the oldest school building in Butler County.
Want a book cart on wheels? It was yours for $5 — and maybe even $3 if dented.
How about a plastic replica of the human heart from the old science lab?
Or a thick, wooden classroom door? Or a chalkboard? Sheets of plexiglass used in ceramics class? Yours for 75 cents each.
Dozens of potential buyers — and among them the simply curious — wandered around the old school for the last time as Middletown school officials prepare to clear out and gut the building in preparation for its demolition.
Used in recent years as a middle school, the old Middletown High School first opened to students in 1923, while Warren G. Harding was president of the United States.
The massive, nearly city block-long school was once Middletown High School and the storied home for the city’s sports legends – including NBA Hall Of Famer Jerry Lucas - and tens of thousands of graduates.
One of them was Suzanne Tadych. Her children then attended the school when it was converted to a middle school.
“We are having fun today finding our old lockers and going to our old homerooms,” said the Middletown resident.
She came with friends who were looking to buy school items, but Tadych said “we really wanted to reminisce and explore.”
“It’s part of our history and our family. It holds a lot of memories and it’s something you can connect to the generation before that went to high school here so it’s kind of a connection we all have,” she said.
Middletown High School graduate Cheryl Kruer said, “so many memories and sad feelings about what’s going to happen to this building but I’m glad I’m here today because it’s surreal.”
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