by Lisa Tome
Jace Slaughter was a pack rat.
His refusal to toss anything is coming in handy right now. Slaughter, longtime and now-retired principal from Perryville Elementary School, saved old school records, documents, student work, tests, workbooks, and more.
But now that the school is being closed for two years for renovation, those saved items will help provide a snapshot of school history and will be displayed at an upcoming event.
Current principal Lisa Lowe showed off a school registration form from 1934. There is also a school milk ticket with a 25 cent value, old tests, excuse notes from parents, and more.
School parent and historian Mary Rasa is compiling these items and others into a display of school artifacts. Once the new Perryville Elementary opens two years from now, these items will be part of a rotating display at the school.
On Wednesday, May 7 from 4-7 p.m., Perryville Elementary will host a Renovation Rally.
All of the school's former students, faculty and administration are invited. So far, former principals Slaughter, Hinda Smith, and Tom Duffy have signed on to attend.
Perryville Elementary fourth grade teacher Alison Marousek is one of the organizers of the Renovation Rally. She explained that numerous committees have been set up to complete various tasks for the event.
"We wanted to think of it (the school's closure for renovation) as a celebration. We want to celebrate the teachers and the history," said Marousek. "The goal is to have some fun and bring back memories." Part of the event will be a PowerPoint slide presentation.
There will also be a wall for alumni to sign. Longtime and now retired Perryville Elementary music teacher Tom Wadsworth wrote a school song in the 1980s. That song will be performed during the Renovation Rally.
Each current school grade will also have a special carnival game set up during the rally.
There will be a duck pond, ladder golf, ring toss, ping pong ball in cup, dunking booth of former administrators and more. There will also be face painting.
The Kilby Cream Moo Mobile and a food truck or trucks will sell food.
The Renovation Rally will mark the end of an era in Perryville.
A major school renovation project will shut the doors of Perryville Elementary School to students and staff at the end of the current school year. Approximately 381 students and staff from the school will be moved while that school undergoes a full building renovation.
The renovation will begin at the end of the current school year, in June 2014. Due to the scope of work in the $17 million project, the building will not be in use during the work.
As a result, students currently attending Perryville Elementary will now attend Bainbridge and Charlestown elementary schools depending on where they live.
This process will be in place for the start of the 2014-15 school year.
The plan is that the building will reopen to students in August 2016.
When the new building opens, two anchors at the school will be missing. Charlene Powels has taught at the school for 40 years. Jennifer Forehand has taught at the school for 43 years. Both women opted to retire at the end of this school year.