The last chance to see and buy parts of the old Middletown High School left city school officials happy.
The Saturday auction in the former high school will net about $35,000 — after expenses that included setting up two movable auctions that traveled among classrooms selling almost everything — and will help speed the school’s coming demolition.
“Final numbers are not in yet, but the auction should clear approximately $35,000 by the time all expanses are taken care of,” said George Long, business director for Middletown City Schools.
“The advantage we have is it also allowed our community a chance to bid on things themselves as well as get inside the building one last time,” said Long of the many people who showed up June 9 to tour their old school, which has served generations of city residents.
One of them was Suzanne Tadych. Her children also attended the school when it was converted to a middle school.
“We are having fun today finding our old lockers and going to our old homerooms,” said the Middletown resident during Saturday’s auction.
She came with friends who were looking to buy school items, but Tadych said “we really wanted to reminisce and explore.”
“It’s part of our history and our family. It holds a lot of memories and it’s something you can connect to the generation before that went to high school here so it’s kind of a connection we all have,” she said.
Middletown High School graduate Cheryl Kruer said, “so many memories and sad feelings about what’s going to happen to this building but I’m glad I’m here today because it’s surreal.”
Used in recent years as a middle school, the old Middletown High School first opened to students in 1923, while Warren G. Harding was president of the United States. It was the oldest school in Butler County until it was closed for its final school year earlier this month.
The massive, nearly city block-long school was once Middletown High School and the storied home for the city’s sports legends — including NBA Hall Of Famer Jerry Lucas — and tens of thousands of graduates.
Former students and fans of the old school will have one last chance to get a keepsake from the old-fashioned brick-built school.
“Fencing should go up the end of this week, beginning of next. Contractors will be mobilizing for asbestos toward the end of the month. Actual demolition is probably six to eight weeks out,” said Long.
“Bricks will be made available free of charge,” he said. “Once we work out the details, we will let the community know.”