Last Tuesday demolition began on the 100-year-old Radnor school building to make way for two new elementary buildings that are to be completed for the 2018-19 school year, according to Buckeye Valley school district officials.
This past October former students had the chance to tour the building one last time. Many took the opportunity to relive memories and to say good-bye during an open house held by the Buckeye Valley School District.
One former student, Walter Penry, said he has a family connection with the the building.
“My grandfather,William Penry, was on the board of education when they built the first half of the building,” said Penry, former student at the school, “and my father was on the board of education when they built the second half of it.”
Penry said he started at the school in 1939 and graduated in 1951, attending all 12 years in the building.
Former students signed their names on the old black slate chalk boards that still hung in the classrooms. Many student art projects could be seen still hanging on the wall in the hallways.
Diane Welker said she had been a student in the building from the fourth to the eighth grade and later a teacher. “I have some great memories, some great teachers here,” she said. “I started teaching here September of 1976.”
Welker, who retired from Buckeye Valley district in 2011, said the old school has been a cornerstone in the community. “It’s a great community,” she said. “I hope my kids remember good times here because we had a lot of them. Lots of good memories.”
During the open house Justine Santschi, president of the board of education, said the old school building had been offered to Radnor Township, but it chose not to take it because of the cost to maintain it.
According to Santschi, the space where the building stood will become a green space.
Lynette Rice, spokesperson for the school district, said, “Some items from the building were donated to the Radnor Historical Society and are now on display.”
The society is a couple of blocks north of where the building stood.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.