A couple of weeks ago, I got a call from someone in Belview informing me the oldest portion of the Belview school was going to be demolished....
A couple of weeks ago, I got a call from someone in Belview informing me the oldest portion of the Belview school was going to be demolished.
One week ago this Monday I stood with a few other Belview residents and Belview Bluejay alumni and watched as heavy equipment tore a hole into the hallowed halls of Belview High.
As a Redwood Falls-Morton High School graduate I had little personal connection to the old school building, but still watching the building come down was still a bittersweet moment for me.
I was in attendance once at Belview when a friend of mine invited me to come to class with him on a day when I did not have school. Yes, this nerd went to school on a day he didn’t have to.
I recall that one day as being like most days I would have spent at Reede Gray, but it was nice to see friends in a different setting. Growing up, my family attended Grace Lutheran Church in Belview, and I had grown close to many of the students in the class. So that day I gained new perspective and made a brief connection with the Belview education system.
Prior to the building being torn down, I was able to take a tour through the classrooms with Mike U’Ren and saw the halls – not much as I had remembered. (Things always seem so much bigger when you are in elementary school.) The few memories I had did briefly come back, and I was even able to take a small piece of history with me.
What made being there that day special for me was hearing others who had spent their entire educational career in that school. They pointed out specific classrooms, talked about the cafeteria and teachers they recalled from their time as Belview students.
I also had the chance to talk with my dad, a Belview graduate, about his memories of the old school, and he confirmed the remembrances of others.
I wish I would have thought to tell him about the demolition, because I think it would have been nice to listen to him talk even more about this part of his childhood. The good news is even though the building is gone those memories he has are not.
As one who loves history, especially family history and the connection I have to communities in this area, the opportunity to be part of this historic, albeit sad, moment is one I will cherish for the rest of my life.
I did not even spend an entire day in the Belview school system, and I do remember wishing I could have stayed a little longer.
I know there are people who probably wish the old school could have stayed a little bit longer, but the reality is the building needed to come down.
So, for those of you who are saddened by the loss, be sure you share your memories of the old Belview school with others, especially those of us who never had the chance to experience it – at least not very much of it.
If you have memories of this old school building, or any other historic building that once stood in this area, and would like to share them I would love to hear those stories. Give me a call or send me an e-mail.
I was still in my early 20s when the old Lincoln school was torn down, and to this day I still have fond memories (and a few of those weird school nightmares) of that building.
The walls are down, but the memories are always going to be there. That is something no piece of machinery can take away.