Scotia, NE -
Becoming the new Central Valley School District involves replacing the old school in Scotia, but before it comes down community members took a look inside a time capsule buried in its cornerstone when it was built nearly a century ago.
Just as when it was dedicated 94 years ago, the National Anthem was sung and Pledge of Allegiance recited to start off the time capsule opening ceremony on Sunday.
“It’s going to be torn down a week from today, and we thought that’d be a good way for the community to come and say goodbye to the old school,” says Garry Wells, a 23 year member of the school board and North Loup Scotia graduate who went to school in Scotia for junior high and high school.
A new building will be home to Central Valley K-6 graders this fall when NLS and Greeley Wolbach merge together. The plan is to renovate and add onto the high school in Greeley for 7-12 students, and stop using buildings in North Loup and Wolbach.
So soon NLS graduates like Sharon Hiett will only have photographs and memories left of their old building.
“I just get choked up when I think about the building going,” says Hiett, whose grandparents, parents, herself, and her children all graduated from NLS. “But I am so happy for the new students, I think it’s wonderful, it’s a look into the future.”
But first community members looked into the past. The time capsule held names of students, teachers, and social groups; a 1920 edition of the local newspaper, the Scotia Register; as well as a few unexplained items like an arrowhead, World War I cartridge, and school girl’s hair ribbon.
School board members say some of the documents tucked away reveal Scotia’s history of consolidation that started with the 1920 building when five rural schools combined.
“They had pictures of each school in that district that merged to become Scotia Consolidated School,” says Wells.
“I guess they always did call it Scotia Consolidated, I mean in the annuals and stuff, so I didn’t realize it was that districts came in then,” says NLS graduate Pam Sweley.
The graduates gave one last chant for North Loup Scotia to end Sunday’s ceremony, and say they’re ready to start a new chapter.
“We’ll be right there rooting for Central Valley also,” says Hiett.
Wells says they’re planning to put the time capsule’s contents into a new one, along with some items from 2014, and bury it behind the cornerstone of the new school building when it’s finished this fall.