Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

June 16, 2013

Fond farewell

A community says goodbye to Washington Hunt Elementary School

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — It sits there quietly, nestled between a park, a neighborhood and a hospital. It may not be a huge structure physically but to the families who’ve dropped off children to 50 Rogers Ave., the building is enormous.

Washington Hunt Elementary School has played a significant role in the lives of its 250 or so students and their families. There’s also the dozens of faculty, staff and administrators who have spent countless hours in the building.

But after 83 years of children running down the halls and parents gathering outside to drop off and pick up kids, the school will close its doors for good at the end of the month. Thursday is the last day of school.

For Christopher Arnold, principal at Washington Hunt, the school is family business. The cafeteria has the desk of Arnold’s father Wesley, who started teaching in Lockport at Hunt.

Among the memories that stand out for Arnold is one that he saw just about every day. The sight of families walking their kids to the school, parents on foot or in the vehicle gathering together out in front of the building.

And after spending 11 years, including the last nine, as principal of Washington Hunt, Arnold said he has seen students return to Hunt with children of their own.

“It’s a close knit community,” Arnold said. “So family-oriented. It’s something that I’ll miss.”

For Craig Bacon, his earliest memory of Washington Hunt dates back to September 1979 when he began kindergarten.

“My mother walked me to school that morning where I made friends that I still have today,” Bacon wrote in an email. “Several of us all lived on Walnut Street and we’d walk to school together.”

The most wonderful thing about Washington Hunt was that all of the parents knew each other, Bacon said. They knew better than to act up because it was almost certain that parents talked to parents.

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