When the doors cracked open one final time on Tuesday, teachers and administrators as well as former and current students flooded the halls at Reed Middle School to take one last look and reminisce together.
Hubbard schools will move into its new K-12 campus on Hall Avenue in the fall, which means the closure of Roosevelt Elementary, Hubbard High School and Reed Middle School.
Current daytime custodian and former student Carol Swartz was on hand to say goodbye.
Tribune Chronicle photos / Ashley Newman
Gina Yaniglos, front, and Carol Swartz reminisce Tuesday outside Reed Middle School. The new K-12 campus in Hubbard is opening in the fall and Reed is closing its doors.
"I've been in this building since 1991, and I feel so privileged to be the custodian of this building because I worked with a wonderful staff," she said. "The closing of this building is going to be like a death in the family. There are a lot of memories here."
While Swartz, 52, mingled with familiar faces, Melanie Glaser walked through the building with her three children.
"My two boys, Jessie and Justyn, went through here, too," Glaser said. "My daughter just missed it, so this feels almost like a family tradition."
Glaser, 38, has fond memories of Reed.
"It has been here as long as I can remember. I'm glad we are getting a new building and everything, but Reed was always my favorite," Glaser explained. "I don't know why, but it was just always my favorite."
Construction on the building began in 1960 and it opened in 1962, initially as an elementary school. The building was renovated in 1970 and turned into a middle school.
"I was here for first grade," former student Jackie Orlando said. "That was before the school had an open courtyard. Then we got moved down to Roosevelt, but I came back here for fifth through eighth grade. That was when it became a middle school."
School Superintendent Richard Buchenic was one of those wondering the halls. Before attaining his current position in 2004, Buchenic was a teacher at Reed.
"From 1970 to 1986, I was an English, social studies and reading teacher, and then I became an assistant principal here. I just think about all of the students that I taught while I was here and all of the friendships that I developed with the staff and administrators.
"It is sad. All three buildings that we have torn down have been sad moments."
While closing the old doors was sad for those who attended Reed, the opening of the doors at the new campus offers an exciting future.
Celeste Wilbois, 12, will be entering eighth grade at the new school.
"I spent three years (at Reed Middle School) and it is sad that this building is going to be gone, but I'm looking forward to the new school," she said. "I heard that the new library is going to be great. Also, there are going to be brand new computers, because our other computers were really old."
The new campus will be 290,000-square feet under one roof with smart boards in every classroom and air conditioning, among other modern amenities. Residents approved a bond in 2006 to pay for the building.
"It is a 21st century school and it just meets all of the needs of education today," Buchenic said. "We are very grateful for the community and all of the support for our schools. They have made all of this possible."