LAUREL - It was a bittersweet day Monday, May 20, as staff and current and former students of Meridian High School watched demolition start on the school's nearly 100-year-old Old Main building.
Once the Old Main building, built in 1922, is demolished and cleared from campus, the area it occupied will become a bus loop for the school, said Principal James Everett. There also will be a courtyard built to give students more outdoor space. Those projects should be completed this fall.
While the removal of the building will open up the campus, Everett said it was bittersweet to watch Old Main come down.
"It represents a century of memories for a lot of this community," he said. "The school is a special thing for this community. You have a lot of families that have attended Meridian for generations."
Local couple Joyce and Don Stockton met while they were students at the school more than 60 years ago and decided to watch the demolition Monday because the school was special to them.
"I truly enjoyed my high school years at Meridian," Don Stockton said. "I had - we all had - lots of good times in that building."
He said he was sad to see it go but happy that the students have gotten a nice, new school. The school's new education building opened this spring, and he said he was impressed by its design and open feeling.
"I never dreamed that Meridian would have something like that," he said.