Making Room for
77-year old Newport Elementary School demolished
By Wayne Towner, Staff Writer for the Muskingum Valley
Review, Sunday, June 16,
As about 50
people watched with mixed emotions…heavy machines spent Monday morning tearing
down the main portion of Newport
Elementary School, a
77-year old piece of Newport’s
history. Lolanne Hale has been a teacher
at the school for 24 years and said she felt both sadness and joy as she
watched the building reduced to rubble.
in a way, but in a way it’s really great to see the progress that’s going to be
made in this community and for our kids.
It’s exciting,” she said. “I’ve
been in the new building three or four times, and it’s wonderful. It’s going to be really exciting for the kids
and the staff to have a new building.”
million [dollar] project—utilizing both state and local funds—is providing new
elementary schools for Newport
and New Matamoras and extensive renovations at Frontier High School,
including the construction of a cafeteria, five classrooms and a district bus
construction work began in August 2001, most of the construction and
renovations work in the district either is on or ahead of schedule, Frontier
Schools Superintendent Harold Carl said.
The elementary school was scheduled for completion in November, but
should be ready by the beginning of the school year in late August, he
said. The high school renovation work
should be completed in November.
the building demolished Monday was built in 1925. For many years, it has served as the school
for the younger children from kindergarten through fourth grade at Newport. The new school is nearly completed and will
be much more state-of-art, she said. It
will have televisions in each classroom, telephone intercoms, a media center,
computers in every room, a science lab and many other features.
the old school had long reached the point where it needed replaced. “We would have snow come in around the
windows in the winter time. You’d freeze
to death one day and burn up the next day.
There was plaster falling off the ceilings. It was time for it to go,” she said.
building across the street provided classrooms for fifth through eight graders
and was commonly called the “junior high” building. It is even older than the elementary building
and was built in 1917. For many years,
it was known as Newport
Principal Bill Wotring said the junior high building is scheduled for
demolition in August after asbestos abatement work is done in the building.
Wotring said Monday’s demolition work will clear the way for the final
construction of the new school’s gymnasium.
After the junior high building is demolished later this summer, it will
become a parking area, he said.
district officials have decided to keep and maintain the third building in the Newport school complex,
the school’s gymnasium. It will continue
to be made available to the community at large for events and programs and will
effectively double the amount of gym space available in Newport once the new building is completed,
people in the Newport
community, their history and connections to the old school can run deep.
Murphy, the secretary at Newport
School, has been involved
with the school for most of her life.
Murphy attended the school herself as a child and her parents attended
the old Newport High School. She also has children and grandchildren who
have attended the school throughout the years.
addition, members of her family have served the school as adults, including a
brother who worked as the district superintendent, an uncle who served as Newport’s first
basketball coach and an uncle and her father who each served on the district’s
family’s always been connected with the school in some way,” she said.
experiencing mixed emotions as she watched the demolition work Monday. She said she was sad to see the old school
going but also was happy to see the new school and other changes.
deserve it, they really do,” Murphy said.
a right to learn in an environment that’s comfortable. It’s going to be a nice school, really nice,”
scene is expected to occur in New Matamoras in the near future. Carl said the schedule calls for the old
elementary school in New Matamoras to be demolished in about two weeks.