Friday, May 25, meant farewell to a school that had been part of the community for nearly three decades.
Though that day was the last day of school at P.B. Ritch Elementary, it was earlier in the week when students, staff members, parents and community members took the time to say goodbye to the facility—it will not be used as a school next year. An “evening of memories and well wishes” was held in the school’s gym that Wednesday and featured a presentation of photos from throughout the school’s history; attendees also toured the school’s halls to take in some of its features, such as the handprints on the wall of students from past years.
The event also saw P.B. Ritch Principal Deryl Dennis address attendees, while three fifth-graders shared their thoughts and memories of the school. See highlights of what they had to say, and take in a few sights from the evening’s events in the three attached videos.
What are your favorite memories of P.B. Ritch Elementary? Tell us in the comments.
Officials with Paulding County Schools say the decision to close P.B. Ritch was made due to the building’s need for repairs and renovations. The facility, built in 1985 as a middle school before being converted to an elementary school, has septic and HVAC issues.
The school system held two public hearings for feedback from the community before bringing the closure issue to the school board for its initial vote. The board voted in April 2011 to put the school’s phase-out on the district’s five-year facilities plan; board members in January approved the school’s closure effective the end of the fiscal year.
And though P.B. Ritch Elementary will not be in operation next year, the name will live on—the district’s next new school, set to open this fall, will be known as P.B. Ritch Middle School.