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Mt. Pleasant Area's Ramsay Elementary renovated

| Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, 9:01 p.m.
Mt. Pleasant Journal
Hidden treasures and memories of days gone by dating back to 1930 were discovered when the oroginal lockers were removed at Ramsay Elementary School early in November 2012. Kelly Vernon | Mt. Pleasant Journal
Mt. Pleasant Journal
Sections of lockers were removed and replaced with new blue ones throughout Ramsay Elementary School during the week of Nov. 5, 2012 in an effort to update all of the lockers in the school. Kelly Vernon | Mt. Pleasant Journal

The halls of Ramsay Elementary School in Mt. Pleasant have received a facelift with newly installed lockers.

The school in the process of a building-wide update, said Terry Struble, superintendent of Mt. Pleasant Area School District. Replacement all of the student lockers represents the most recent phase of that renovation process, he said.

The renovation will prove to be a win-win situation for two schools in the Mt. Pleasant Area School District, Struble said.

That's because the old lockers at Ramsay — some dating back to 1930 when the school was originally erected as Ramsay High School — will be refurbished, painted blue and added to existing lockers at Donegal Elementary School, Struble said.

The roughly 50 lockers will be added to 30 lockers previously installed at Donegal to accommodate all students in school's fifth and sixth grades, Struble said.

“This will give fifth- and sixth-grade students at Donegal Elementary School the same experience that other students in the district have to prepare them for junior high,” Struble said.

Such experience may help reduce the anxiety elementary students commonly feel when faced with a transition to life at the district's junior high school, Struble said.

Hidden treasures of a bygone era have been discovered beneath some of the original Ramsay lockers.

The oldest piece of memorabilia uncovered was a football schedule from 1930 — also the year the school opened.

An edition of The Ramsay Beacon, the school's newspaper, dating to October 1958 was found which appeared to be in pristine condition.

Other items uncovered included photo negatives, old tests, a fountain pen, report cards and enrollment cards all dating back to the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.

Another interesting find was an advertisement for the now-defunct George and Cunningham Hardware Store in the borough with only a four-digit telephone number from before the 547 exchange was implemented.

It appears that some of the lockers have been removed and reinstalled during other renovations throughout the years since district personnel are not finding as many older items as expected.

The district plans to create a shadow box or a collage using the items discovered in the renovation to be displayed at Ramsay Elementary, Struble said.

One reason the lockers are being removed is that some of them are difficult for young students to open, according to Barry Bitner, the district's building and grounds supervisor.

In addition, the new, double-stacked lockers in some portions of the school will accommodate more students, Bitner said.

The double stacked lockers are smaller but they are more easily accessible to the older students, Bitner said.

“The new lockers are more handicapped-accessible, they are easier to open and they have heavier metal bottoms to prevent breaking,” Bitner said.

Students at Ramsay are excited about their new lockers, said Lance Benteler, the school's principal.

“The students using the new lockers already like them,” Benteler said.

Kelly Vernon is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-547-5722 or kvernon@tribweb.com.

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