This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Tearing down the school--Updated

The final destruction of the Monnett Elementary School has begun> (There has been a slow process of demolition going on for a couple of months.) Two excavators were ripping apart the west end of the building today.
The mist and dampness of the day were suppressing any dust. The operators were carefully separating out various things from the wreckage, such as the metal. The old gym only had two walls left.
I asked a person who went to school in Rensselaer a few decades ago and she was pretty sure that the school was built in the 1950s, probably the latter part of them.

Update Tuesday: The workers were no doing much more demolition today. Rather they were filling up dumpsters with the debris, which was then hauled away to who knows where.
 I wonder if the workers who built the school ever thought that the administration building, which was part of the original Monnett School for Girls, would outlast the elementary school.

Update Wednesday: Most of the interior of the south wing is now been removed and the north wall of the south wing is gone. The photo below is taken from the west side of the school, and you can see the last of the modules that is along College Ave behind the excavator.
Here is the view from the east side of the building. The south wall is still standing, but there is nothing behind it.

 If the little dinosaur in the playground could speak, it might say, "What a big mouth you have."

Update Thursday: When I stopped by today the workers seemed to be on lunch break. I walked along the south side of the building and found this sign amusing. If you look through the window you can see the pictures of the planets that are on the walls of the north wing.

 Looking through another window, you can no longer see any of the walls of the gymnasium. It is rather amazing at how undamaged this wall is. The roof was ripped off and the walls separating the classrooms have been demolished, but the wall has not obvious cracks and the windows are mostly uncracked.
 I am sure that many of the students will long remember the elephant, turtle, and lizard that decorated the east wall of the south wing. They will not be there very much longer.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this. Even though it's wonderful they have the new primary school, it's still sad to see Monnett go.

Anonymous said...

I loved my time teaching first and fifth grades at Monnett. There were good children, teachers, and staff. The animal designs on the Monnett School sign brick wall will be missed.

Anonymous said...

To this Monnett student in the 1960s, the administration building was an antique even then, compared with the school. And what a great little school – with teachers like Beulah Arnott, Klea Beaman, and Kathryn Humphreys; Hal Gray rolling his piano from classroom to classroom to teach music; and Elizabeth Stoner teaching gym class. I could go on. On a wall outside the principal’s office was a little plaque, in memory of a popular and handsome young fifth-grade teacher who died, tragically, in an auto accident, when I was in third or fourth grade. I don’t remember his name – was it McCarthy? McCartney? – and I wonder now what happened to that plaque. I hope it is still on display somewhere in the school system - perhaps in the old administration building - to keep his memory alive.

Hannah said...

Is it just me or do these pictures and the whole event of tearing down monnett make everyone want to cry? I didn't even go to school there, but it is so sad to me :'(

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comment, Hannah, I appreciate it. I am the 1960s Monnett student and maybe too old to cry - but the photos are stunning all the same. Pretty soon Monnett will exist only in photos and memories, and not even that little dinosaur will be around to bear witness.

And thanks to the proprietor of Rensselaer Adventures for maintaining this great website. I'm sorry I haven't commented before - there's so much history here, thanks to you.

Anonymous said...

Yes, thank you "Rensselaer Adventures" for all the great information you post on this site. And thanks for including and posting the picture of the elephant and turtle.

Anonymous said...

Similiar to Home Hospital it is easier to let an older building fall apart and build a new elementary school, than care for the elder buildings. Sad, but that is the theme of the new "school systems". As someone that went to Monnett from K-4 I loved this building! It was home. The staff, teachers and students were all truelly family. To this day I still stay in contact with many of my Monnett classmates. My classrooms are all exposed/torn down, but the things I learned from those teachers, rooms and other students are still in my heart and head.

Monnett may have not been the largest or newest building, but to many of us it was our lives for many years. Friendships, learning and love filled the school.