Symbol of community
I drove by the new eStem High School. Very handsome, indeed! Of course, it does not approach the freestanding majesty of Central High School. My junior high was like Central High School. It had been the high school until about 1958 when the new high school was built.
“... the new eStem high school construction does not include a cafeteria … a library, an auditorium …”
I enjoyed school. So did everybody else. We took our classes seriously. Those of us in band went off to second period energized after having rehearsed Shostakovich and Persichetti. Some of us returned fourth period to rehearse Beethoven and Franck with the orchestra. The cafeteria was a place we gathered every day for lunch and a review of events academic and social. The old high school library was nearly a sacred place and was not so much a place to study, but rather to contemplate and explore. The auditorium was literally a concert hall with magnificent art deco trimmings, a massive balcony, and breathtaking upward expanse.
“Nor does … construction include … gym, football stadium, track, or fields” for various games.
The gym was a spectacular place and, during the winter, the scene of Friday night tilts with the Springfield Senators, the Collinsville Kahoks or the fiercely fought contests with traditional sectional rival Silver Streaks of Galesburg. Football was also a festive spectacle with the lights, cheerleaders, band, and community gathered.
One last observation. At a recent class reunion, my sister spoke at length with the All-State star of the basketball team. She wasn’t sure he would remember her, but was surprised that he never forgot her performance as Maria in the school’s production of The Sound of Music.
The new high school did not survive the test of time. The old school still stands, as does Central. Each school a proud symbol of their community. So happy days are here?