Construction on East Fairmont Middle School is nearing completion, but for some residents, the transition is bittersweet, as they say goodbye to the old school, which has been attended by some families for generations.
Friday was Day Two of demolition at East Fairmont Junior High School. It was built in the 1920s as East Fairmont High School, and residents said they have a lot of good memories.
"It's kind of sad to see that building go. I spent 30 years there, counting the four years that I was a student," said Keith Holt, who was the principal of East Fairmont High School from 1969 to 1989.
The building spent most of its time as a high school, only being converted to a middle school 20 years ago.
"My parents both graduated from EFHS, as did I, and my daughter. Once upon a time, there was probably 1,400 students," said Holt.
"We took the building down in about four hours, except for a back corner of it, which was left standing per request," said project manager Anthony Jordan.
Holt came to the site on Friday, joining other former students and faculty as they watched their memories crumble before their eyes.
"There were a lot of class reunions apparently scheduled for this summer, and a lot of those people were hoping to tour the building one last time before it was destroyed...to be able to say, 'Oh, there's my old locker, I'm sure it was still in there, I remember this classroom or that classroom...'" said Holt.
Jordan said it isn't uncommon to have a nostalgic audience at demotion sites, especially around here.
"It happens more so in smaller towns. Bigger towns, like Cleveland, they don't care. Here, there's more of a personal tie to the building," said Jordan.
And for some of those in attendance, it was about taking a piece of their old school with them.
"It's a brick from the original part of the old school," said former student Tyler Morrison.
Jordan expects the demolition to be completed in two weeks. Students will begin creating memories at the newly constructed East Fairmont Middle School this fall.
904 West Pike Street
Clarksburg, WV 26301
Main (304) 623-3311
Fax (304) 624-6152(Clarksburg)
Fax (304) 225-2522(Morgantown)