Tell your friends and classmates – this is your last chance to tour the present El Dorado Middle School building. From 1 to 7 p.m. Oct. 24 people can reminisce watching videos, identifying memorabilia, reading the timeline of the building and enjoying snacks.
On Dec. 19, students will spend their last day in the building at 500 W. Central, ending classes that have been held there since 1937.
During the open house, tours of the building will be held, conducted by former students, there will be displays of memorabilia and class yearbooks, a time line and opportunities to share memories.
Built as El Dorado High School and El Dorado Junior College, the building has housed not only students, but many public and school activities in the auditorium. In 1956 the Junior College moved to the old Jefferson School building on West First.
With the construction of a new high school in 1969, El Dorado Junior High School moved across the street into the 500 W. Central building.
In 1982, the old junior high was demolished and that location is now a grassy space and parking lot for Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital. Also in 1982, the junior high became El Dorado Middle School.
EMS students will begin the new year in the new middle school at North Main and NW 30th.
Currently, USD 490 has a purchase agreement with real estate developer Cohen Esrey, who has plans for converting the school into senior housing.
“By entering into a purchase contract with Cohen-Esery to retrofit the building into senior living with the auditorium available for community use, the Board of Education has reaffirmed their first preference for the repurposing of the middle school; to remain a viable, historic presence in the community,” said Superintendent Sue Givens.