(Click on photo to enlarge)
In Dec. 2009, as the new high School in our Ohio town was about to be dedicated a few blocks south, I visited the old school (dubbed "Classic Harvey").
My reason for being there was to spend a few quiet moments saying goodbye to a doorway I particularly loved. Like many graduates of the old school, I admired the beauty of that doorway, and in my years at that high school, I had often read the etched quotation in the stone over the door---"AS THE OPPORTUNITY SO THE RESPONSIBILITY.
East of this doorway was a second doorway, a beautiful twin to this entry except for its carved quotation which read: "EDUCATION IS THE SAFEGUARD OF DEMOCRACY."
It was a sad moment for me in 2010 as I watched completion of the demolition of the building. As a weekly columnist for a local paper, I photographed and wrote about the passing of the structure.
Through my column over that year, I had fielded questions from historians, preservationists, community members and alumni as to whether the carved stones at the old school could be saved. The demoliton experts had questioned the feasibility of that, but they did put great effort into the salvage attempt. And I am happy to say they succeeded in saving the stones!
Some restoration was needed, and Norman Monument Company provided the expertise for that. Now our Alumni Association is working with the school to find the best possible display place for the relics. The Association, in cooperation with school district officials, also has been working to establish an area within the building in which to develop an historical archives... a sort of "mini museum."
I congratulate the City Board of Education for its efforts over time to preserve the history of the old building in any way possible. They have wisely recognized the importance of preserving their past and blending it with the present and the future.