By the hundreds, if not a thousand or more, they came to say one last good-bye to a place that held so many memories for them and countless others over the years. Visitors, still following pandemic …
By the hundreds, if not a thousand or more, they came to say one last good-bye to a place that held so many memories for them and countless others over the years. Visitors, still following pandemic health and safety protocols maintained by the district, were able to take one final tour of the existing East Providence High School this past Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 29.
They were invited by Superintendent Kathryn Crowley, the School Committee and the new EPHS Building Committee to make a last trek to the now 70-year-old building before it is razed beginning shortly after the 2020-21 term ends in mid-June.
They came with friends and family members. Many of the “boomers” who turned out brought with them their children and grandchildren to see the inside of the school which had served them and the city well since it was opened back in the early 1950s. It was a state of the art structure at the time and represented in many ways the promise and hope of the decades ahead felt by those who lived here as well as a nation about to truly “boom.”
Well, East Providence and the country has gone boom and bust a number of times these past several decades. The high school, surely, was a symbol of the ebbs and flows of life. Its initial signature features once lauded, eventually proved to be a detriment to its upkeep and sustainability.
Now it sits in the shadow of a 21st Century, state-of-the-art complex that will hopefully last at least 70 odd years. As it nears completion, the new EPHS building, like its predecessor, is also serving as a sign of a potentially prosperous future for the city and its residents.
Thoughts of the EPHS of tomorrow, however, weren’t on the top of the mind last weekend. No, it was a day to recollect and consider what became of the old building, the alums and the city itself. Most of all, it was a final chance to say a fond farewell to a faithful friend.