MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS, Ohio-- The day was filled with final moments at Midpark High School in Middleburg Heights Thursday.
There were final exams to finish and a final time to walk the halls and reminisce.
After 51 years, there will be no more Midpark High.
“It's just a great school and it's a shame that it's going to go away,” said 1972 Midpark graduate Dee Denko. She also works there as an instructional assistant and her three children also graduated from Midpark.
To the students, staff and alumni, Midpark High School is more than bricks and mortar and more than just a place of learning. "I think Midpark is more than just a name; it's more than just the colors brown and orange. It's a feeling. It's a spirit. And, that feeling and that spirit, I think will forever be something we`re proud of,” Principal Paul Kish said.
Declining enrollment forced the merging of Midpark with cross-town rival, Berea High. The new school will be named Berea-Midpark High. “And, I guess that's it. But, it's not going to be the same. Once Midpark`s name is gone, it's not Midpark. The building's the same, but it's not Midpark," Denko said sadly.
While they no longer will have their school, 2013 graduate Branson Repasy said no one can take away their meteor memories. "It's bittersweet. It's the last day of the school. We come back because it has been our alma mater for four years. We thought we would cherish this last bell moment,” he said.
While Midpark High will be no more, the building will remain. It will become Middleburg Heights Junior High School for all of Berea School District's 7th, 8th and 9th graders.
"I'm going to miss it. I'm going to miss the age group, the kids, and the people that are leaving. It's just going to be a lot different next year,” art teacher, Monica McMullen, added.
With the final bell, comes the end of the school year and an end of an era.
There was one last time to show that Midpark pride and one last time to sing, ending with “there will always be sincere loyalty for thee Midpark High."