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Historic school vanishing

By Walter Geiger Demolition got underway Monday morning at the Harris-Graham Street building on the LCHS campus. At a brief ceremony, school superintendent Dr. Jute Wilson noted the area where the track hoe struck its first blows to the 70-year-old facade is the approximate site of a roundabout near the front of the new high school which will open to students on the site for for the 2019-2020 school year. The construction site was wet and muddy after three inches of rain fell on the partially graded ground over the weekend but the school was nearly gone by Wednesday morning. The original Aldora School was located on what was then Old Zebulon Road but is now known as Aldora Street. The current building, originally known as Aldora Grammar School was completed in 1947. ’Generations of students learned to read, write and do math in this building,’ Dr. Wilson said. At some point following the construction of the current LCHS facility, the school became known as the Graham Street School. It was renamed the Harris-Graham Street building in May, 1999 in honor of Dr. E.H. Harris who, at that time, had 34 years of service to the school system. Dr. Harris and his family were on hand for the brief ceremony and were given a plaque that was installed on the facade in 1999. On a lighter note, Dr. Wilson said the building was once home to the ‘˜board of education’ – a paddle used to discipline students. Aldora mayor Jimmy Matthews intimated that he had been disciplined with the paddle during his scholastic career. Dr. Wilson noted that the school system will retain some bricks from the old school, clean them and make them available to former students, teachers and others who want to save a part of the building for sentimental reasons. The current LCHS building will be demolished once the new school is complete. Only the current career academy building, gym and auxiliary building will remain. A new gym will be a part of the project but the old gym will be retained for other athletic uses. A new football practice field will eventually be located where the current school building now sits. The area is undergoing a complete transformation. On the east side of the campus, the Aldora Village will be revamped. All the homes there have been sold and will be moved this summer to make way for the construction of new, site built single family homes.

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