DENISON, TX-Hundreds of people took a "Walk Down Memory Layne" Tuesday night to say goodbye to one Denison elementary school; where kids have been educated for more than a century.
The Layne Elementary School cafeteria was packed with its students from today and yesterday, all the way back to the 1930's. I spoke with one of them Tuesday and he shared with us his fondest memories.
Denison resident Jeff Householder attended Layne elementary in the 1970's and he said he wants to see his old school one last time.
"It's been a while but it was just a good school. Mr. Rutledge was the principal here as he was for many many years and it was always fun. But it was strict, he ran a tight ship but I think it helped us learn and it provided a better environment for us," he said.
Householder is one of hundreds of former students who attended "A Walk Down Memory Layne," celebrating the school's past and present. He attended Layne when Gordon Rutledge was principal, whom he visited with during the event, and it brought back some old memories.
"It's kinda funny but one of the things that I'll never forget is how Mr. Rutledge can silence this entire cafeteria with just the clearing of his throat. That's all it took and it was dead silence," he said.
Rutledge received a standing ovation from former staff and students for his 31-year service as principal at the school.
"My students, I try to keep up with them as much as I can and my teachers, they are great. I had great teachers," he said.
Layne Elementary is one of two schools to be torn down at the end of the school year as part of Denison ISD's $80-million school bond. Rutledge and Householder said it's bittersweet.
"I know that it's an old school and we have to make changes. I believe in a neighborhood school though, and this was," said Rutledge.
"I hate to see it go but I understand why with kids having to cross the street to go to lunch and go to recess. It's not a good situation, I wish there's something that can be done, but it's an old school," said Householder. "I'll miss it and it's been a while since I've been here. It's good to see the place one last time and just people, help people remember Layne."
Layne Elementary will close at the end of this school year and its students will attend Mayes Elementary next year.
Golden Rule Elementary is scheduled to close when the new high school opens.