The final chapter

Saturday, between thunderstorms, I paid a visit to my old highschool for a final open house before she closes for good at the end of the school year.


Enrollment has been dropping for years (a lot more older families in the area than young ones), and they are building a super highschool that will service almost all the kids in the lower city.  My old school, Delta Secondary is going to be turned into condos. I don’t know if they are tearing it down or keeping the shell of the building (one developer has done that with a few elementary schools in the city). I really hope they keep the shell because, as you can see – it’s a beautiful building.


When I attended, that grand entrance was always gated and locked… and full of pigeon poo. But it’s nice and clean now.

The school was built in 1924 and there so many beautiful details you just won’t see in a new building. I’m not sad that it’s closing, change is necessary, and it’s not all bad. But I am sad that so much of this art/architecture will be lost.

It was nice to have one last chance to wander the halls. Those marble stairs you see above have a little dip in them – barely visible to the eye, but you can feel it when you walk up them – 95 years of thousands of students running to class have left their mark in more ways than one.

Most of the classrooms were locked, but my old art room was open.


My highschool years weren’t perfect, but I spent a lot of happy hours at this paint-covered workstation. I did forget to check and see if our gummy bear army was still stuck to the ceiling. (Pro tip.. if you lick gummy bears and throw them at a ceiling with enough force… they will stick… for years! We added more every semester!)

And I wasn’t the only one feeling nostalgic. The school was packed with students from all decades. There’s no a/c in that old building, so by noon it was pretty darn hot in there.


I took one last break on the back steps for old time sake (a fav hangout between classes) and headed home… in more ways than one….

Parking at the school was packed, so I headed up one of the side streets, and parked in front of my old house.


We lived her for a decade…from the time I was 12 until I was 22. Those four windows at the top were my bedroom, and we spent a lot of time on that front porch.

And while I was nice to step back in time a little… I really do love my present day.


10 thoughts on “The final chapter

  1. Araignee

    It is a beautiful old building! I drove by the house I grew up in the other day and it was such a weird feeling. Everything looked so small.


  2. What a gorgeous building! And marble steps!!! I do hope the developer keeps the shell of the building. I haven’t driven by the house I grew up in for ages – I did a few times after my parents sold it, but it just made me sad as the new owners had cut down trees, added on to the house and there was less and less yard.


  3. I hope they keep the old building too.

    Steve lived in an elementary school when he was in Utica for work. And, in Jacksonville and old middle school had been converted to luxury condos. They were expensive!!!! The building looked much like yours.


    1. Someone on my Alumni facebook group said they are pretty sure the city put a historical designation on it, so at least some details of it will be saved. It’s funny, because I used to daydream in class about each classroom being turned into an apartment and how I’d fit in a kitchen and bathroom etc. Of course, it’s not that simple, the halls are huge so no doubt they’d be narrowed to make for more living space and a lot of the interior features will be lost, but still…

      There is a developer here who’s done it with a couple of the elementary schools – they are apparently quite swanky. Several older factories have been converted too. And down by the train station there’s a church – they’ve only kept the front facade with the bell tower, but it will have a 10-15 storey apartment go up behind it with the grand church doors as the main entrance – so cool!



  4. Shirley

    Your old school is such a beautiful building! I hope the developer will retain the building and work with all those wonderful elements – like the marble stairs. I think it would be wonderful to live in an apartment/condo in a building like that. Love the four windows on the second floor or your former house. What great light and view of outside happenings.


  5. I so enjoyed this post Val. It was a great insight into things about you I didn’t know. Your house in your formative years! I got a new tattoo today and I can’t wait to show it to you. !


  6. I love this post! What a gorgeous building! The wood work is amazing! I’m imagining what a beautiful condo it could become and how cool that you got the chance for one last visit.


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