Class of 1949 sees changes at old high school
Claudine Talkington slid into one of the desks at the new Craig Middle School, as if she were a student about to start class.
“These desks aren’t too bad,” she said with a smile. “Do they have heating and air conditioning in here, too?”
In 1949, Talkington graduated Moffat County High School as part of the first class to graduate from the high school that stood on the site where the new Craig Middle School recently was built.
On Sunday, 60 years later, 12 members of the 50-person class walked the pristine, unused hallways of a newer and more advanced building.
Murmurs of “amazing” and “unbelievable” followed tour leader and Craig Middle School assistant principal Jill Hafey as she led the group through modern-looking corridors.
Benna Haughey, of Craig, organized a 60-year reunion for the class of 1949 and thought it would be a good idea to get a tour of the new building.
“It’s just fun,” she said. “It turned out beautiful.”
CMS principal Bill Toovey first showed the group a map of the new building, explaining three different “pods” – one for each grade – that are designed to keep students sequestered in their own area complete with lockers, restrooms, classrooms and collaborative space.
Talkington laughed when she looked at the floor plan.
“We’d get lost,” she said. “I doubt I’d be able to find the places we used to sneak out of when we were here.”
She and her classmates joked about their visits to the principal’s office and other escapades during their years in high school as they oohed and ahhed at the 90,000-square-foot space.
The new building is about a third larger than the old middle school, and it will house sixth, seventh and eight grades in the fall.
Each classroom is piled high with boxes as teachers begin to move in their supplies in preparation for the upcoming year.
The group was stunned at the level of technology in the library and science labs.
And many could only shake their heads while Hafey introduced the SMART Board and explained how the interactive tool worked.
“Sixty years ago, who would have thunk it,” Fruita resident Lester Cox said. “Maybe if they had all this stuff when I was here I would have learned a thing or two.”
Phyllis Bingham, another 1949 graduate, is the daughter of a Craig homesteader. She now has great-grandchildren who will get to enjoy the new building as she enjoyed the new high school decades ago.
She said construction of the new building was bittersweet.
“At first I was almost resentful because they’re tearing it down,” she said. “But it’s beautiful, just beautiful. And it’s so nice of the principal to let us in here to see it.”
She said she was glad to see the Moffat County School District advance for the needs of students, though she will miss the old building and the memories it held.
“There was a sadness about it,” she said. “But I’m really proud to see the beauty of it, to see that we really did need it.”
Nicole Inglis can be reached at 875-1793, or firstname.lastname@example.org
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