PCSD says goodbye to middle school


It was a time for memories to be shared and the last goodbye to a building on the campus of Perry County School District No. 32.
Teachers, administrators and community members walked the halls of Perry County Middle School for the last time during an open house on Tuesday.
“We wanted to have an opportunity for those who have put time, energy, love and have memories of this building to come back and share some of those good times with each other before this building is taken down,” Perry County Middle School Principal Nick Cowell said.
Cowell has some fond memories of the old building as a student. teacher, and now principal.
“There’s a lot of memories here and everyone that has walked the halls here will tell you, it’s a bittersweet moment,” Cowell said. “We have a lot of teachers going to their old rooms and sharing stories, but we are excited about the new building as well.”
That new building was made possible by Proposition KIDS in 2017 for a tax levy which would go towards improving the campus of Perry County School District. The construction of new facilities gave Perry County students room to breathe with more capacity and will also allow the district’s teachers to do a better job instructing their students.
Ground was broken on the new facility in Feb. 2020 and should be ready for the school year next fall.

“I’m excited for the taxpayers who have supported the vision and they should think of the new building as an investment into the new building,” Cowell said. “Without that support we wouldn’t have this building going up right across the street. It’s in indicator that our community and our families look at this school as an investment. They want our kids to have suitable facilities and grounds that we can be proud of. They recognize that the investment is then going back into the community. Our community and kids are worth it.”
As for the old building, almost everything was taken out of the old middle school that once served as the elementary as well, in preparation for demolition in the coming weeks. The void created by the demolition will make way to more suitable parking for the new middle school.
Cowell has not kept anything from the old building as of yet, but some teachers and administrators vow to keep parts of the build, even bricks to remember it by.
“I’ve heard of some doing that, this is a part of the history of Perry County District 32,” Cowell said. “It should be remembered fondly.”
Cowell said there are busy days ahead as the district transitions to the new building.
“It takes a lot to shut down a building and move into a new one,” he said. “There is going to be a lot of energy in that building. A renewed energy that I will be glad to see.”
Cowell can’t find the right words for the anticipation of moving into the new building.
“Excited isn’t the right word,” Cowell said. “Proud and ecstatic would better suit my emotions,” Cowell said. “But there are so many right now that I can’t even put it into words.”