Gladewater holds ‘Walk Down Memory Lane’ tour of high school before planned redevelopment
GLADEWATER, Texas (KLTV) - Nostalgia met progress when former students got to walk the halls of their long-closed East Texas school.
If you’ve driven through Gladewater on Highway 80, you’ve probably seen the old school campus on the west side. That property has now been sold.
The grown-up faces of old classmates were in abundance at Saturday’s event, and former students got to walk the halls of the old Gladewater school one more time.
“I miss it. When we left here, we went to Gladewater high school up farther, but this is home to me,” said Wanda Sikes, Class of ‘74.
“We just walked from one end to the other, and it sure doesn’t seem as big as it used to be,” said Ray Townsend, Class of ‘57.
The property has been sold to outside developers, but the Gladewater Economic Development Corporation, Chamber of Commerce and Sesquicentennial Committee collaborated to host “A Walk Down Memory Lane” for all former students.
“They opened it up to allow people who are former students to walk through and see it before any changes are made. We had people flying in from other places to take this opportunity,” said GEDCO Executive Director Michelle Palmer.
Organizers expected 300 to 500 former students, all reconnecting.
“Nostalgic and familiar. You never get over what you grew up knowing,” said Madeline Kennedy, Class of ‘57.
Many came thinking it might be the last time they saw the old building.
“A lot of people have had concerns that it’s going to be demolished or drastically changed,” Palmer said.
But, the developers were in attendance as well, assuring the public that the school would not be torn down, but preserved.
“We’re going to be part of the community and preserve the heritage of the building, and make sure this becomes the center of the growth of the city,” said Shu Jahat of XELEMENTS.
Plans for the site have not yet been made public.
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