Published 12:04 am Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Locals with ties to school invited to reminisce

Former students, teachers, administrators and others who have ties to South Highlands Elementary School will have an opportunity next week to say goodbye to the school that gave so much to so many, Opp City Schools Assistant Superintendent Emily Edgar said.

“We would like to provide an opportunity for the many people who got an education or worked there to reflect on their past memories,” she said. “This way, we will be able to pay tribute to a building that housed so many memories.”

The last class was held in the spring of 2009 after the board of education opted to build a new state-of-the-art elementary school.

South Highlands was built in 1959.

Edgar said organizers would like for anyone with an emotional tie to attend.

“We found that when people have fond memories of a place they like to have a chance to voice those,” she said.

Edgar said many folks shared their hurt when they did not have that opportunity for the old mill, so they wanted ensure that wasn’t the case with South Highlands Elementary School.

“We felt like we should provide this opportunity for the community,” she said. “We want them to share their memories – good or bad.”

Edgar said the school was the home of her first job and a place she worked for 17 years.

“It was a big part of my career,” she said. “There are so many things that can be said of it. It weathered many storms. Several tornadoes and hurricanes hit it.”

The school will be demolished sans the old fourth grade wing, which houses Opp Head Start, the old cafeteria and music building and the gym, which is owned by Southside Baptist Church.

“They are currently finishing gutting the interior part of the building now,” Edgar said. “We are trying to get this done before the demolition and cleanup.”

The event is set for next Wed., March 18, at 3:30 p.m.

“We will be in the front parking lot,” she said. “There will be retired educators, who worked there, retired superintendents and anyone else who wants to see it one more time.”