Bond Elementary Closes

It is the end of an era at Bond Elementary School. When the doors closed Friday for holiday break, they closed for the last time.

Starting in January students will be bussed to nearby Wesson Elementary, so this school can be demolished and a brand new one built in its place.

Many of the "Mighty Panthers" are a bit melancholy Friday as desks and boxes are wheeled down the hall and loaded into moving vans.

Alice Bates went to school here as a little girl and teaches here now. She fought back tears knowing these familiar walls would soon be gone.

Alice says, "I can remember walking to school everyday here from the first grade to the sixth grade and to see this come down, for better reason, for good reason, I know, but it's still hard and it is sad."

Teachers and students have been getting ready for the move for weeks. Clara Hampton packed up a few last things as sturdy hands shuttled boxes out of her third grade classroom.

Clara says, "Like one night I was here until 7 p.m. at night trying to get all the boxes packed and trying not to feel the emotions."

After the holiday break, students will be bussed to nearby Wesson Elementary and will be schooled in portables there for the next year and a half. Bond will be demolished and a new state of the art school will be built in its place.

Arrhea Williams, Bond Elementary Principal, says, "Kids will have a state of the art, phenomenal facility, learning facility on the south side of Tallahassee."

As exciting as that prospect may be, the school that got its start in the 30s and taught generations of black students before desegregation has deep roots, and digging them has been highly emotional.

The new $13 million school will be ready in the fall of 2006. When it's complete, Wesson will close its doors for good and all of those students will attend the brand new school.