End of school year; end of era

By Anna Carrera

Published 05/20 2014 04:14PM

Updated 05/20 2014 05:35PM

ATWOOD -- Soon everyone will go their separate ways. For students at one school, a goodbye after graduation means more this year than ever before. Atwood-Hammond High School will be torn down this summer. Its students will consolidate with Arthur-Lovington next year, so this week will be the last for the Rajahs. WCIA-3's Anna Carrera has more on the seniors' bittersweet ending.

They're glad they got to be the last graduating class, but they say the community will be different after their high school is gone.

In a village of about 1,300 people, every business and building adds to the history. Atwood-Hammond High is no exception.

"My grandparents went here and then my mom went here and so did my aunt," said senior Reilly Ferrell.  

For the 32 seniors there now, the year has been full of exciting moments.

"It's been more than what I thought it was going to be," said senior Chantell Bonham.  

"Everything has just been bigger and better this year because it's the last for everybody, not just us," said senior Alex Miller.  

People packed the house for basketball games.

"The gym, because of sports," said Bonham. "That's usually where you leave it all is on the court."

Lately, the gym has been empty. Soon, it won't be here at all.

"I feel like we're losing our identity," said Ferrell. "It's going to be weird driving past this and seeing that's where the old school was and it's not there anymore."

They all knew it was coming, but it wasn't until boxes and stacks of stuff started to outnumber the students that it started setting in.

"Seeing stuff being packed up and being ready to go has made people feel bittersweet," said Bonham.  

As the last day gets closer, people wonder what will happen after the school is gone. But, instead of being sad about losing the school, some say they should just focus on what future students have to gain.

"Regardless of what building they're in or what their school name is or mascot, I'm confident that they're smart, successful students," said family and consumer sciences teacher Josclyn Mohr. "Regardless of where they go to school, they're going to be successful."

Of the senior class, more than half have been together since kindergarten. Some school supplies will be sent to Arthur-Lovington or auctioned off. The building is set to be town down this summer.

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