As we get closer to the current staff and students of Oyster River Middle School moving to the new middle school building, it also means the destruction of the old one that so many past students attended, specifically the senior class of 2022.
The middle school walkthrough, an event that would have normally taken place at the end of senior year, occurred on Wednesday, February 16th instead. The middle school is scheduled to be taken down starting next week, so the senior class of 2022 was offered one last chance to see their old school and reminisce. Before the senior class will graduate on June 10th, the middle school will already be replaced with a new parking lot for the new building. During this special event, the senior class reflected upon their childhood memories throughout the walk and enjoyed spending time with each other, as well.
Rachel Rowley (‘22) was present at the event and explained how meaningful it was for her to attend. “Through the four months that I was there at the middle school, a lot of people talked down [poorly] on the middle school… but walking through we kind of had this newfound appreciation for our memories and experiences there.” She continued, “walking through the 8th grade hallway, which is where I spent most of my time, it was like ‘oh, we grew up’ and it’s been four years. [It] reminded me that time flies so fast.”
Andrew Kelly (‘22) agreed with Rowley and said, “it sounds cliche, but I realized how quickly time passes when I walked into my fifth grade classroom eight years later.”
Kelly went on and explained his favorite part of the walkthrough. “My highlight was just seeing the middle school four years later. I hadn’t been in it since I left and the hallways seemed so much narrower, [and] the desks and chairs [seemed] tiny. It really made me realize how much myself and everyone else had grown up.”
He continued about how he also appreciated spending time with his classmates at the middle school, as well. “It was fun to hear people remember stories and share them so we could relive them together. Finding our names on the ceiling tiles and in the art room was also really special,” he said.
Rowley expanded on this and said that seeing her old friends at the middle school specifically brought back a lot of memories for her and allowed her to reminisce on them. “Even though I’m not connected with [my old friends] now, I think what they’ve done for me and having them has still had a really big impact on me.”
While the seniors did have a great time down at the middle school, they wished they could have seen more of their teachers. Rowley said, “I was hoping to see my old teachers because that would have been really fun, but they weren’t there and [seeing them] would have been my biggest highlight.” Fortunately for Rowley, there is still a walkthrough scheduled for the end of the year when students can see their teachers as well but it will take place in the new middle school.
Unlike Kelly and Rowley who were able to experience the middle school one last time, Addie Berglund (‘22) along with other students were not able to visit due to other conflicts. She said that she wished she could have experienced it with the rest of her classmates, as well. “I was sad to not walk through a place where I spent my middle school years and it holds a lot of memories. They come back to me whenever I walk through the halls.”
As the middle school begins to be taken down, Rowley described the nostalgia. “There are some things you can’t replicate, like sentimental objects.” Rowley was referring to the walls that students signed in middle school, as well as specific places that might have held value for some students. However, Rowley remained positive about the new and unique experiences that would come along with the creation of a new middle school. “I am sure that the new middle school will bring a lot of cool memories for the incoming middle-schoolers.”