KAMLOOPS — Stuart Wood Elementary is officially closed, marking the end of an era that lasted 109 years.
A final assembly in the confines of the gym at Stuart Wood, no longer fit for modern education. The students serenading the school with a swan song, their final goodbye.
"I'm going to miss how old it is," said one student after the assembly. "I've been here since kindergarten, and a lot of my friends have moved away, but it's still an awesome school."
The building dates back to 1907 and has housed hundreds of thousands of students during that time, and even the most recent students got a taste of what education was like a century ago.
"You can literally walk into this time warp as you go up the third-floor stairs and see what learning looked like 70, 80 years ago," says princial Blair Lloyd. "You're part of it. There's no other school that I know of in Kamloops, or anywhere else that has that."
The students signed the last Stuart Wood yearbook, full of history, which is what many of the students enjoyed and will miss.
"It's history, right," says one Grade 7 student. "I think the last date I saw on the chalkboard upstairs was like 1927. That's what my memory says anyway."
It's been a special year for principal Blair Lloyd, his only school year at Stuart Wood, where 13 of his other relatives either taught or attended.
"Certainly I have mixed emotions about leaving," says Lloyd. "I've learned so much about my own family history this year. It's been amazing, and to be able to be part of that is overwhelming. It's a really neat feeling."
As teachers say their final goodbyes, and students exit Stuart Wood for the final time, the true legacy of the school is the students who occupied the classrooms and walked the hallways.
"It'll stop functioning as a school-district school, and our students will be up at Beattie, of course. But it'll still be here, and I think it'll still function in some educational capacity. So it'll still be here. People will be able to drive by and see the school."
RELATED: Former students reminisce about time at Stuart Wood
The Arts students will move in with their secondary school counterparts at the old John Peterson secondary school site on 9th Avenue. That school will become the Kamloops School of the Arts and will house all the students in a K-12 facility.
The Stuart Wood site has stood since 1907. The City owns the building, but the future of the site hasn't been determined.
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