Many more than Lockridge?s population of 268 have been wondering what?s going on in the ?City with a big heart.?
The original part of the Lockridge school is being demolished to protect the newer, more structurally sound parts that are still very much able to be utilized if separated.
The school opened in 1932 and operated separately from Fairfield until 1958. Many former students of the school have expressed concern about the demolition. However, Lockridge city maintenance employee Kenneth McCarty said the city could put $500,000 into the location and still have a building worth only $100,000 if it didn?t first remove the troublesome portion.
The main issue was the cost to heat the space, which ran the city approximately $1,700 a month, and without enough revenue generated from the space itself to cover the additional expense, something had to be done. Drish and Co. is the company working on the project, and although cold weather and the holiday season has slowed the project, it?s expected to be complete before the end of the month.
Closed in 2002
The Lockridge building was used as an elementary school until it closed for good in 2002. At that time, the number of students attending it was 94, making it the smallest of the five elementary buildings the district was then operating, the others being Pence, Washington, Libertyville and Lincoln.
Memories of Lockridge
Stockport resident Alice Watson attended Lockridge Elementary School in the late 1980s. She was sad to see the building demolished because it contained so many memories. She said a few of her elementary school ?boyfriends? had scrawled her initials onto an outdoor staircase at the school.
Watson recalled that spanking was allowed at school. She was never spanked, but she did report a few naughty boys to the teacher, and they came back to class with tears in their eyes.
?I remember the school had the best chili dogs,? she said. ?The cooks put the chili inside the hot dog.?
Her favorite teacher was Roberta Mattson, who she continued to see occasionally long after graduating.
?She is a small lady, and she was so sweet,? Watson said. ?But she was also good at being stern.?
Watson began attending Fairfield schools sometime in middle school. She said being bused back and forth from Lockridge was the hardest part of the transition. She was a wrestling cheerleader, so she had to ride the activity bus after meets or practices. That meant getting home late at night.
Watson?s family continued using the school for years, renting it to hold reunions during Christmas. They were doing that as recently as Christmas 2016, and 2017 was the first year they didn?t do it. Watson said she?d love to get a brick from the school or some other kind of memorabilia.