Masons to christen middle school Wednesday

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What: Masonic cornerstone ceremony

When: 3 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Craig Middle School, 915 Yampa Ave.

— Before the advent of modern construction techniques, builders began every project with a cornerstone.

The stone was plumbed, squared and leveled with careful attention, otherwise the building as a whole would suffer, as everything was built off of the first rock.

The Masonic Yampa Lodge No. 88 plans to host a special ceremony for Craig Middle School at 3 p.m. Wednesday, which Lodge Master Charles Dial said represents the ancient practice of history's stonemasons.

The cornerstone ceremony will be at the middle school, 915 Yampa Ave., and take about 30 minutes.

Dial said the Masonic Grand Lodge of Colorado, out of Colorado Springs, will participate in the ceremony, as will the local chapters of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion posts.

Masons will place a ceremonial cornerstone in an outside wall of the middle school, as well as a time capsule that contains a history of the Masonic Lodge and Craig Middle School.

The working tools of a mason hold special significance in the ceremony, Dial said.

For instance, the Lodge plans to present middle school officials with an engraved trowel, a masonry tool to lay cement.

Cornerstone ceremonies have been a long-standing tradition in the United States, he added, from when George Washington laid the cornerstone for the nation's capitol.

Craig Middle School has something of a special significance for masons, as well, Dial said.

The Founding Fathers "believed strongly in education," he said. "They believed education is the basis of our freedoms here."

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