NEW GLASGOW – The storied walls of the former New Glasgow High School slowly began to crumble down Friday as demolition crews started to chip away at the massive building.
The brick building that sits on Albert Street is being demolished to make way for a new Primary to Grade 8 school that will be built in its place.
The cold, wet weather kept many sentimentalists who came by the old school to take a look at it in its final days watching the demolition from their cars. They stopped on the side of the road for a moment to capture a glimpse of the demolition.
“It’s sad,” Anse MacDonald said after swinging by to take a look at the demolition. “I hate to see it go. I guess it’s getting old but I feel badly about the gym because the gym is not that old and it was one of the nicest gyms we had in Pictou County.”
MacDonald had a 26-year relationship with the school, as a member of the school’s booster club and a promoter of basketball programs that were held there weekly for years.
“I think that I spent more time around that school than any student or teacher,” he said. “There’s a lot of memories.”
He had a picture taken of the gym and then artist Dan Munro did a colour rendering of it, which MacDonald had reprinted to give to his sons and some of the others he met during his involvement.
MacDonald hopes he might be able to get a piece from the gym to keep too.
What he will remember most from the building, though, are the people who spent a portion of their lives there – young basketball players who went on to become doctors, lawyers, mechanics and more.
“I keep reminding them all: once a Panther, always a Panther,” he said.
Although the old high school will be long gone by the time students walk through the doors of the new school, relics of it will still remain. The principal of New Glasgow Junior High School and the future principal of the new Primary to 8 school, Alison McNeil-Wilson, noted at a public meeting months ago that the old, worn-in and warped wood of the old high school’s staircase will be turned into benches that will be incorporated into the new school’s furnishings.
Dora Construction was awarded the contract to build the new P-8 school and is responsible for the demolition of the existing building.
The new school is expected to open in September 2014.
Also on ngnews.ca view a video of the early stages of demolition and photos.