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Saying goodbye to Elmhurst

Fort Wayne Community Schools sold the school to neighboring Hanson Aggregates in August.

Posted: Nov. 12, 2017 11:04 PM
Updated: Nov. 13, 2017 8:40 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Thousands of people said a final goodbye to Elmhurst High School Friday and Saturday.

Fort Wayne Community Schools sold the school to neighboring Hanson Aggregates in August.

The school closed in 2010 due to budget cuts.

The Waynedale News organized tours for alumni before the quarry tears down the school that was built in 1927.

"I was surprised at everything. The way the building looks, I'm just glad I got to walk through one last time," said Melissa McCoy Wallace, Class of 2000.

The clocks were still at 2:49 p.m. when the final bell rang at Elmhurst High School in 2010.

As people toured the school, they shared memories with each other.

The tour took people from the band room to the auditorium, cafeteria, and detention.

McCoy Wallace said her favorite room on the tour was the choir room.

"I did choir all four years. I just loved the songs we sang. I just enjoyed getting together and singing everyday. It was pretty fun," said McCoy Wallace.

1999 graduate Paul Kinter drove from Indianapolis Saturday to see the school.

However, he was hoping to see a little more than what was available.

"I wish I could go to the second floor and see all the science classes. I spent most of my time up there," he said.

The tours stayed on the first floor for safety reasons, and ended in the main gym where people shared their memories of the school and what it means to them.

"I took a picture over there on the bench because that's where I played basketball. I sat on the bench and watched most of the games, but that's alright. Just a lot of memories," Kinter said.

"Just being in this gymnasium, where I know I used to cheer over there and we used to do the posters for the basketball games on the stage. It's awesome to be here," said Stacey Dowdal Taylor, Class of 1986.

Dowdal Taylor said she flew in from Atlanta to see the school one more time.

"Everybody was like family. Just to come see the students today. I saw some of my cheerleaders here, some of the other students recognize me," said Regina Gordon, an Elmhurst High School principal secretary.

Gordon was the last secretary to walk out of Elmhurst in 2010.

She toured the school with a picture of ther daughter who couldn't make it to the tour.

"When I walked out of this building I knew I was laid off. The minute I walked out of that office, the minute I dropped my keys off at Grille (Administration Building), it was hard," Gordon said.

Alumni also raised more than $3,000 for Miss Virginia's Food Pantry, something students did every year.

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