Col­gate hon­ors past, looks to fu­ture

The Dundalk Eagle - - FRONT PAGE - By CHAR­LENE MAYO cmayo@ches­pub.com

Col­gate El­e­men­tary School’s Par­ent Teacher As­so­ci­a­tion (PTA), spon­sored a block party last Tues­day to say farewell to the old school build­ing that was con­structed nearly a cen­tury ago.

Be­cause the site is too small to build a new school while the old one re­mains stand­ing, Col­gate El­e­men­tary stu­dents and staff will re­lo­cate to the Rosedale Cen­ter for two years while the new school is built.

Last week’s cel­e­bra­tion was a time to look back, while also cel­e­brat­ing a new chap­ter for the school and neigh­bor­hood.

“We in­vited our cur­rent stu­dents and fam­i­lies, as well as any­one that lives in the neigh­bor­hood, taught or at­tended the school in the past,” Col­gate El­e­men­tary prin­ci­pal Erin DiCello said.

“It’s time. It’s sad be­cause we’ve watched it come and go, but it’s time,” for­mer Col­gate El­e­men­tary at­tendee Marie Blum said.

Blum’s mother at­tended Col­gate Ele­men­tar y the first year it opened in 1924.

“My mother went here, I went here, my kids went here and now my grand­chil­dren at­tend the school,” she added.

Col­gate was a good school back in the day be­cause ev­ery­body was friends, ac­cord­ing to Blum.

“It’s bit­ter­sweet be­cause I had fun here,” 20-year-old Austin Gill said as he walked the halls with his friends.

For­mer PTA pres­i­dent Wal­ter Brown says he joined the Par­ent­Teacher As­so­ci­a­tion in 1984 be­cause the school needed com­put­ers.

Ac­cord­ing to Brown, the school needed the tech­nol­ogy but didn’t want to do any fundrais­ers or raf­fles to raise the money.

“I went to a meet­ing in Au­gust and got all the fac­ulty there; there was an op­po­si­tion with man­age­ment,” Brown said.

“So, I took my base­ball cap off and put the first $100 in,” he added.

Brown said he would con­tinue to pass his hat around un­til they raised the money.

After that, the school de­cided to pitch in, spon­sored raf­fles and any­thing else the could do, ac­cord­ing to Brown.

“There’s a

Brown said.

Elmer Crop­per at­tended Col­gate El­e­men­tary from 1957 to 1963, back when ele­men­tar y school went from first to sixth grade.

One thing that stood out in Crop­per’s mind vividly was the day Pres­i­dent John F. Kennedy was as­sas­si­nated.

“All the teachers got called to the office and when my teacher came back, the tears were just stream­ing down his face,” Crop­per said.

“They let school out early, and when I was walk­ing home, every­one in the neigh­bor­hood was cry­ing and up­set; that’s some­thing that I will never for­get,” he added.

“It’s so many mem­o­ries here; I had a lot of friends,” for­mer Col­gate lot of mem­o­ries,” Ele­men­tar y teacher Linda Heath said.

Heath taught at Col­gate from 1964 to 1983.

“When I came here it was just half a school, then they added more once the stu­dent pop­u­la­tion grew,” Heath said.

Heath rem­i­nisced about Col­gate and how the prin­ci­pals were al­ways so nice.

“I re­mem­ber when the prin­ci­pals could smack the kids,” Heath said, laugh­ing.

“I hate that they’re build­ing a new school; I guess they have to,” Heath said.

“The walls are so thick; I al­ways said if there is a hur­ri­cane, I’m head­ing to Col­gate school,” she noted.

Stu­dents and fac­ulty mem­bers are ex­cited about the new and larger fa­cil­ity they are soon to get, ac­cord­ing to DiCello.

The ar­chi­tects have re­quested mem­o­ra­bilia from long ago to in­cor­po­rate into the new build­ing, DiCello mentioned.

Col­gate El­e­men­tary stu­dents and staff are ex­cited about their new build­ing.

PHO­TOS BY CHAR­LENE MAYO

For­mer Col­gate El­e­men­tary teacher Linda Heath en­joys the block party.

PHOTO BY CHAR­LENE MAYO

PTA mem­bers threw a block party at Col­gate El­e­men­tary to say farewell.

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