COBWEB CORNERS: Buena Vista School, after 50 years
By Mel McFarland
Today, I would like to talk about Buena Vista Elementary school. This is a school I once attended but, until a recent visit, I had not been inside it for about 50 years. One of the fun things to point out is that its core structure is still there. So many of our old, grand schools that date back before 1950 are gone.
I drive by Buena Vista fairly regularly, and know several families in the neighborhood. I finally had a good occasion the other day to stop in. I was surprised about a few things, and was amazed at others.
The building was originally one of a series of cottage schools. You can still see bits of that today. Walking up the steps of the main building was like opening an old scrapbook. The office is still where it was, although the principal's room is where one of the halls used to be. The room where I had fourth grade is still there, a few steps away. In my school days, it had dark walls and woodwork and rows of desks bolted to the floor. Today it is bright, white, and even though it looks much the same it is clearly a modern room.
Another room is now the computer lab, Amazing! The library seems to be in the same spot and a lot more interesting. The old lunch room and gym have changed.
The gymnasium/multipurpose room was brand-new when I was in the fifth grade. I had music lessons on the stage. Mr. LeRoy Ellinwood was my principal. He called a group of us in one day. We were happy to learn he wanted us to be in a play. He had written a little book, "Young '59ers," and we were going to be in it - in the first play on the new stage!
Even though there were only a few students in the building on the day I visited, I could feel the presence of thousands of little children around me. As I was taken around the school, I saw plenty of enthusiasm in the students and staff. I want to thank them for helping me see that this building is still quite special. I hope in the future they can come back and feel as thrilled as I was. Even after 27 years of teaching, going back to Buena Vista was quite fun. I look forward to visiting some of the other Westside schools. Thanks Donna, and all the staff at Buena Vista.