Center Elementary School

The following double-spaced, typed essay was found in the local history clipping files at the Lowell Public Library. It was undated and unsigned.

* NOTE -- In this article, the last name of one of the teachers has two different spellings: Schrag and Schragg.

This unidentified newspaper article, hand dated April 1990, was found in a scrapbook owned by Town Historian Richard Schmal:
The following Lowell Tribune article was hand-dated April 18, 1990:

At the end of the article, the following people were listed as being on the Center School Reunion Committee: Ray Rinkenberger, Verna Vandercar, Dorothy Sorenson, Peg Clark and Nancy Carter.

The following article, hand-identified as being from the May 16, 1990, Lowell Tribune, was found in the Lowell Public Library local history clipping files:
This newspaper article, found in the local history clipping files at Lowell Public Library, was hand-identified as coming from the May 30, 1990, South Lake Register:
The following article, hand-identified as coming from the June 10, 1990, issue of the Post Tribune, was found in the local history clipping files at the Lowell Public Library:

Bell tolls for country school that served Eagle Creek Twp.

HEBRON -- Nestled among towering oak trees, Center Elementary School, a six-classroom country school, rang its final dismissal bell Friday afternoon, After serving the children of Eagle Creek Township since 1927, Center Elementary has been closed permanently.

The Tri-Creek School Corp. decided last year to close the school and build a new elementary school. The 106 students who attended Center this year will be transferred to Three Creeks Elementary in Lowell this fall. The small country school holds fond memories for many teachers, students and alumni. When Center opened its door in 1927, first-through-eighth-grades pupils attended the four-classroom school, two grades in each room. In 1952, the school expanded to six classrooms and a multipurpose cafeteria.

However, the school is still small enough that an intercom system was never installed. According to Principal Douglas Wiseman, also a fourth-grade teacher at Center, a bull horn was still used for drills, and in-house messages were carried by word of mouth.

Raymond Rinkenberger of Hebron started his school days as a first-grader at Center in 1927. He remembers playing baseball in the schoolyard on Friday afternoons.

"It's a country school, Everyone knew everyone, and they all got along," Rinkenberger said.

With its hardwood floors and high ceilings, Center Elementary has also touched the hearts of today's pupils. Christina Barath, a fourth-grader at Center, said she'll miss the school when she transfers to Three Creeks in the fall.

"I like it because it isn't in town; its small and everyone knows each other," Barath, 10, said. "It'll be hard to go to a new school, because it will feel like you're being separated from your friend."

Leaving the small country school atmosphere of Center seems to be the hardest part of closing the school for pupils and faculty alike.

While no celebrations or long goodbyes marked the school closing, the empty corridors will echo with the laughter of small children for as long as the outer walls stand.

This article, hand-identified as coming from the Nov. 17, 1990, Crown Point Times, was found in the local history clipping files at Lowell Public Library:
Last updated on October 28, 2008.

Go to Schools--Center School, "Pioneer History Index," for further information.
Go to 8th Grade Graduation, 1938 -- Center School for further information.
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