The sound of falling bricks are mixing with many memories for Fairfield residents as Central Elementary continues its demolition this week.
The Journal-News coverage has attracted many comments from readers who attended the old school, which opened in 1929 during the presidency of Herbert Hoover.
Here’s what some residents have shared on Facebook:
- “Sad to see this this history erased! My grandmother, Geneva (Park) Hillman, went to this school when it opened in 1929. This replaced her previous school, Stockton, a two-room school.” — Scott A. Hillman Ramirez
- “I went there between 1998-2001. So many great memories, impactful teachers and fun stories went down in the books there. So many students’ lives were changed because of the teachers and staff of this school. But all good things must come to an end.” — Amy Wallace
- “I remember putting pencils on the heaters so we could bend them.” — Michael Stephens
- “I remember trying to learn math in a 100 degree room.” — Bob Grove
- “Almost all butler county schools have been torn down and replaced.” — Wayne Cummins
Cummins is right.
In the last decade — thanks in large part to a state program that helps local districts pay for new schools if the local communities approve tax bond issues — most of Butler County’s oldest schools have been replaced.
Central Elementary was the second oldest school in the county. Verity Middle School in Middletown is the oldest.
When Central was opened in 1929 it was hailed as the area’s most modern “rural” school, long before the sprawling city of Fairfield began to grow around its Route 4 campus.
Next on the demolition block for Fairfield is the adjacent Fairfield Freshman School.
The two schools are being leveled as Fairfield prepares to open three new schools in September.
Gina Gentry-Fletcher, spokeswoman for Fairfield City Schools, said the outpouring of emotion about Central, which at one time served as Fairfield’s high school, was not surprising.
A small crowd gathered Monday to watch the beginning of demolition.
“We estimate that about 100 showed up to witness the beginning stages of the end of a building that has served the educational needs of so many children in kindergarten through 12th grade during its 88-year span,” said Gentry-Fletcher.
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