Buena Vista 4th-graders sing for City Hall’s 100th

       Susan Garsoe's fourth-grade class at Buena Vista Elementary helped the City of Colorado Springs celebrate the 100th birthday of the historic City Hall in downtown Colorado Springs Nov. 16.
       The 21-member class joined their counterparts from Steele Elementary in touring the venerable structure, hearing speeches by City Manager Lorne Kramer, Mayor Lionel Rivera and impersonators of General William Palmer and Winfield Scott Stratton, and then singing “Happy Birthday” to the building while seated on the marble staircase inside its main entrance.
       Afterward, balloons were released from above and the youngsters were treated to refreshments.
       The pomp and circumstance were enhanced by several city employees clad in styles befitting 1904. Also, a chamber group of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic played music that was typical of that era.
       According to Richard Marold (who impersonated Stratton in clothing as well as trademark mustache), the land for the building was given to the city by Stratton - one of the city's great early benefactors. His only stipulation was that the city spend at least $100,000 on the structure, which the city did in following a Greek temple design, Marold said.
       Buena Vista was invited to participate in the ceremony because it is one of the oldest schools in the district (built in 1911). Steele was built in 1900. Students in fourth-grade were invited because “fourth-graders usually study local history and local government,” explained Caitlin Green of City Public Relations.
       Here are responses from some of the Buena Vista students, when asked for their highlights from the day:
       Brianna Larrueau - “Cake and treats.”
       David Ferrier - “Going up to the original City Council chambers.”
       Kennedy Gillette - “The (historical style) dresses on the girls (city employees who helped with the event)”
       Jessica Gonzales - “When the mayor presented his speech.”
       Andrew Sprague - “When the balloons fell.”
       Alex Allen - “General Palmer's speech.”
       Tristan Breaker - “When Stratton talked about the land that was supposed to be for the courthouse turning into a jail.”

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