More than 1,000 students, alumni and members of the community said good-bye to the "old" Springfield High school Nov. 16.
Thousands of photos were scattered across the cafeteria tables, conjuring memories from those who sifted through them.
Springfield teachers Larry and Paula Murphy were sorting through the thousands of pictures laid out on cafeteria tables looking for friends.
Paula, a 1987 grad, was a part of the softball team.
"We were talking about how there used to be a swimming pool here," Paula said. As she looked at photographs, she remembered her friends and the memories they made in school and playing softball. "It is fun to come back and see how many of us grads are still here teaching."
Larry teaches at the high school and Paula teaches at Young Elementary.
Springfield trustee Dean Young, a 1970 grad, thought about how his political career started right there in the Springfield cafeteria. As he sorted through the pictures, he remembered sitting in that cafeteria during student council meetings.
While some looked through photographs, others walked the hallways they had once ruled as high school seniors and took in the sights from seats in their old classrooms.
Bill Luplow, a 1962 graduate said his fondest memories were of his government teacher Louise Nolt.
"She was fantastic," Luplow said. "It was the only class in high school where I had straight As. She was a good teacher, she made it interesting."
Nolt, 91, taught at Springfield from 1948 to 1986. Today, she lives in Indiana.
While she couldn't make it to the open house, she admits that Springfield High School holds a very special place in her heart
"Springfield children, young people, and young adults were very fine human beings, who studied in detail, achieving 98th percentile in our nation, thereby winning scholarships to America's distinguished universities," Nolt wrote in an email. "With technical school training, liberal arts and university our young people made major contributions to their professions and serious humanitarian service projects. With education in this, our new high school, Springfield young people will continue to enrich the lives of their families, their communities and our world."
Occasionally, someone would recognize an old friend in the crowd of people walking the halls. They'd shout out a name and take off running into the arms of the friend they hadn't seen in years.
"It is like a big family reunion," Superintendent William Stauffer said of the open house. He was pleased to see that alumni of all ages made it a point to attend the open house.
Glenn Wieland, a 1985 graduate was surprised as to how many generations came to bid farewell.
"Not only are there people I went to school with, but also those that went to school with my parents," Wieland said. "Families have been here for generations."
Page 2 of 3 - Wieland's grandfather, Irvine Wieland, was one of the first graduates in 1932 of the Central Building.
"I never knew him, he passed away when I was a year old, but the family always talked about him," Wieland said.
Mary Lou Dodson belongs to another one of those families that have attended Springfield for generations. Dodson, a 1963 graduate, just attended her 50-year reunion, while her mother would have been out of school 75 years this year. Dodson's youngest child has been out 25 years and her granddaughter just started kindergarten at Springfield.
Even with her generations of history at the school, as a board member, it was not a hard decision for her to build a new school and tear down the old.
"When you walk around here it does not take too long to figure out that it is time," Dodson said. "I am really proud of the new building. I have gotten so many compliments on it."
Donna Sedmock, a 1963 graduate, reminisced about when she and Dodson were asked to leave the library.
"We were looking at National Geographics and we got kicked out and sent to the principal's office because we were laughing at the pictures of the aborigines," Sedmock said.
"It was quite a shock to me, actually," Dodson added. "I never got in trouble. What can I say, it was funny."
Jill Cramer laughed and remembered the best one-liner she had during her high school career.
"My first day of 10th-grade – I have cerebral palsy – I was walking with my tray and I tripped and fell," Jill, a 1986 graduate said. "I got up and all these seniors were applauding and I said 'no applause just throw money.' I loved it."
For Dick Cramer, a 1962 graduate, said his fondest memories of Springfield were made on the basketball court.
"We went on to win the YMCA championship," Dick said of his 1958 eighth-grade basketball team. During that season, the team won 25-straight games and the football team put together a fantastic season as well.
Jerry Williams, though, couldn't help but brag about the athletic programs' success during his senior year in 1953.
"We were and still are the only year that went undefeated in every sport," Williams said. "(We were) undefeated in basketball, football, track and baseball."
While many had memories of the building, the building itself offered some memories as well.
A ceremony was held to open a time capsule which was embedded in the cornerstone of the Springfield High School Central Building in 1931.
In the time capsule was what is believed to be a year book from 1931 that had disintegrated. It had fallen apart, but the cover did have the words Red and Gray and matched a similar book from 1936. Also in the capsule was an Akron Times Press newspaper dated May 16, 1931 and an Akron Beacon Journal dated May 14, 1931. There were three faded ribbons believed to have been red, white and blue and from a patriotic organization.
Page 3 of 3 - Saying good-bye to the old Springfield High School won't be easy, but junior Joe Mcabee is excited for the memories the new school will house.
"If you take a look at this building there are chips out of the paint and everything," Mcabee said. "It is going to be very exciting to go to a new school."