As work continued on the construction of the brand new McDonald Elementary, students and teachers, current and retired, gathered just a few hundred feet away in the soon-to-close original school to start saying goodbye to the 45-year old building.
Principal Keely Mahan stirred up some nostalgia as she picked through time capsule from 1968 that had been opened. The presentation began with an audio recording of Dr. Everett McDonald, the Centennial School District's first superintendent, who guided the original McDonald Elementary's construction and opening.
Students attending first grade 45 years ago wrote about exciting technologies they expected to see in the future, such as a portable television you could hold in your hands or colonies on the moon.
Assistant Principal Michael VanBuren also presented artifacts from a time capsule from 1993, including classroom projects from teachers who are still part of the McDonald Elementary faculty.
Parents, former students and any other members of the community are invited to say their own goodbyes to McDonald Elementary this Wednesday. The building will be open between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m., with scrapbooks, yearbooks and other memoribilia available for browsing.
The construction of the new McDonald Elementary is the final step for the district's $70 million consolidation plan. An expanded and renovated Willow Dale Elementary school opened in 2011 with students from the closed Leary Elementary part of the new community.
The original Davis Elementary had been demolished and replaced with a new facility that opened in the fall of 2012 with a student population that now includes children from the closed Stackpole Elementary.
Students from the closed Longstreth Elementary joined the McDonald community this year. The new school has been constructed behind the older building. Once it is complete and everything has been moved to the new facility, the 45-year old building will be demolished.