2 century-old schools to close in St. Paul

1:20 PM, Jun 4, 2010   |    comments
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  • St. Bernard's High School
  • Longfellow Magnet School
    

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- After a long and rich history, two St. Paul schools are closing their doors.

Friday is the last day of class at St. Bernard's High School and June 11th for Longfellow Magnet School. Declining enrollment and budget concerns are forcing the closures.

Many generations of students have passed through the halls at Longfellow. The school has been a centerpiece of the Merriam Park neighborhood for 127 years.

"Longfellow has enjoyed a great and long history of preparing young children for their futures. It is with great pride and joy that we can look back together, celebrate our accomplishments and pay tribute to this beloved school," said Principal Mark Vandersteen.

Betty Berg, who attended Longfellow during the 1940's, stopped by to share an old photo she's always held onto.

"It's a 1940 kindergarden picture that I'm in," Berg said.

Berg lives in the Merriam Park neighborhood and is sad to see Longfellow go away.

"The idea of not having Longfellow in the area is hard," Berg said. "I think it's very important to the neighborhood so the kids can walk to school and not be bussed."

Vandersteen said staff members have either retired, found new jobs, or still searching for work.

"It's a nice way to end a really good run of 127 years," Vandersteen said. "It's been a nice experience, it really has been."

St. Bernard's is closing after 119 years. A farewell party is planned for Saturday.

(Copyright 2010 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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