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May 12, 2021

Enochville Elementary to host farewell event May 1

ENOCHVILLE — Enochville Elementary will give people the chance to take a final look at the school before it closes permanently in June.

The event, scheduled May 1 from 8 a.m. to noon, is open to community members who want to take one last trip down memory lane before the doors close. Participants must sign up to take the tour.

The tour will show school artifacts and history. Coordinator Stayce Huffman, who has worked at Enochville for nine years and went to elementary school there, said the school feels it needs to provide this opportunity to the community. District leadership is planning to attend as well.

Masks will be required, and the school will start tours every 10 minutes to stagger the attendees. Huffman said community members and graduates reached out to see if they could get photos taken at the school.

Huffman said officials are still deciding what to display, such as old photos, trophies and student drawings that used to be on display at the school and they contacted Rowan Museum to see if any artifacts are there as well.

The school wants to avoid hands-on material like yearbooks to limit the surfaces more than one person would touch. Tour guides also will show people examples of older classrooms and updated spaces to detail how they’ve changed over time.

Huffman said they were waiting on district graduation plans, announced on April 1, to get an idea of what would be allowed before moving ahead with plans for the event.

The faculty is trying to be positive with the students and talk to them about the schools they will be moving to in the fall. Huffman said the principals of nearby schools where students will attend have come to speak to staff as well.

Technology facilitator and media coordinator Erin Kelly has been at the school for 21 years and has shed a lot of tears over the closure, but she thinks the day of the event will be like a reunion to catch up with people staff members have not seen in years.

Kelly said the school has been part of the community for generations.

“It’s where grandparents and parents of the kids there went to school,” Kelly said.

When the decision came down to close the school, the front office started getting calls from locals who wanted to visit one more time before it was shut down.

The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education unanimously voted to close Enochville and Faith elementary schools last year.

A previous attempt to close Enochville failed in 2019. The district board abandoned discussions about the closures amid public pressure. In 2020, there was little public opposition when the closure came up for a vote.

The district has cited the cost of running more facilities than it needs as reason for closing the school. The district is gradually losing students as well. It identified the schools it would make the most fiscal sense to close.

Enochville Elementary was established in 1936. The original facility has undergone renovations and additions through the decades, most recently in 1996.

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