EDS NOTE: This is the third in a series of stories about the recent Greenville City School building open houses.
GREENVILLE – A last look was given to Greenville Junior High School, on Saturday.
Principal Chris Mortensen waited by the doorway as folks came in. He has been with Greenville City Schools since 2000, as a teacher and a principal.
“It’s really exciting to go to the new facility and have all the updates,” he said. “It’s also sad seeing part of our history go away. It’s nice hearing from the community as they recognize what it was. I’m happy with the new facilities and the new opportunities it will provide.”
People shared specific memories, traveling from room to room. One person’s story built upon another. Three generations paid their last respects: Carrol Martino, her son Joe and her granddaughter Nicole shared their special moments.
Carrol just turned 75. She graduated from the school in 1959, when it was a high school.
“I am sorry to see it go,” she said. “I went from the seventh to a senior here. There are so many memories.”
Joe graduated in 1991 and attended the school from 1986/87.
“I remember I was out an entire month with pneumonia,” he said.
“That was a really long month,” Carrol added.
Nicole is a Greenville High School junior, who attended for two years.
“I have a lot of memories here,” she said. “I loved sliding down these hallways. I fell down the stairs punching my ex-boyfriend in the face – by accident.”
According to the Greenville City School District’s 2015 Audit Report the former high school building now functions as the Junior High Building where the School District instructs grades seven and eight. Engraved over the entrance to the building is “Education is the Best Safeguard of Liberty”. Nearly one million dollars was spent on the structure to ensure safety in late 2008. A collapse of the parapet wall left the structure uninhabitable, after March 31, 2008, according to city standards. However, due to quick administrative efforts, it was again ready for operation at the beginning of fiscal year 2009 with construction complete, according to the report.
The new Greenville Primary and Middle School will welcome students after Christmas break, Jan. 12, 2017.
“The new school will give a well deserved big boost of pride to this community,” Mortensen said.