Top 10 Stories #4: Demolition of South Elementary School says good-bye to an era

South Elementary School Principal Greg Finck is pictured on the last day of school with students Bjorn Hasselberg, Lukas Hasselberg, Soren Hasselberg, Noah Potvin, and Lily Enright. Thursday, May 26 was the last day of school for the students and South Elementary School itself. The school was torn down and k-2 students attend the new Princeton Primary School.  Union-Times file photo
South Elementary School Principal Greg Finck is pictured on the last day of school with students Bjorn Hasselberg, Lukas Hasselberg, Soren Hasselberg, Noah Potvin, and Lily Enright. Thursday, May 26 was the last day of school for the students and South Elementary School itself. The school was torn down and k-2 students attend the new Princeton Primary School. Union-Times file photo

PRINCETON – In April 2015 the Princeton School Board took the first steps in marking the end of South Elementary School when the board voted to demolish the building after school let out for the year in 2016 and plans to move students to the new Princeton Primary School moved full steam ahead.
That action became a reality when about 60 years of school history came crashing down in June 2016 with the swing of a wrecking ball.
Last classes were held in May. A garage sale at the school June 3 helped clear out equipment prior to the demolition. The garage sale also served as one last opportunity for six generations of students to take one last walk through the school. Many people commented that they and their kids went to the school, which opened in 1955, and they reminisced about teachers, playgrounds and spots in the school where their young lives unfolded.

Crews from Rachel Contracting began tearing into the old South Elementary building around 10:30 a.m. July 5 to demolish it. Workers got busy once school let out removing asbestos in the old building so that it could be razed. Once the 1955 building was removed, it created space for expanded soccer fields and an entrance to the football field.  Union-Times file photo
Crews from Rachel Contracting began tearing into the old South Elementary building around 10:30 a.m. July 5 to demolish it. Workers got busy once school let out removing asbestos in the old building so that it could be razed. Once the 1955 building was removed, it created space for expanded soccer fields and an entrance to the football field. Union-Times file photo

For about a month, construction crews were busy removing asbestos from the old school building.
On July 5 the walls of the school came tumbling down. Crews from Rachel Construction arrived on the school grounds and by 10:30 a.m., heavy equipment was tearing into the building. The building fell in a couple of days.
Six months after the demolition of South Elementary, students have adapted to attending school at Princeton Primary School. The sight of their old school was used this fall as a space for additional soccer fields for the Princeton High School soccer team and as space for a new entrance to John Harvey Field, the home of Princeton High School football.