CHARLESTON, W.Va. — It’s the end of an era in Charleston. Eight decades after they opened, both Watts and J.E. Robins elementary schools on the West Side held their last day of class Friday. Come fall those students will be consolidated into the state-of-the-art Edgewood Elementary.
Watts Kindergarten teacher Bethany Lovejoy called it a bittersweet last day of school.
“I am excited to go into the new school. I’m just sorry to see such a little, tight knit community gone,” she explained.
Both Watts and J.E. Robins have always felt like community schools because they’re right in the heart of the neighborhoods they serve.
Watts first grade teacher Lisa Blackwell said after standing for more than eight decades…”If the walls could talk, they would have a lot of stories to tell.”
Lovejoy said she’s heard a few.
“I’ve had parents say their grandparents went here,” she explained.
The school year was set to end last week but the county tacked on an extra week because students missed so many days of class due to bad weather and the water crisis.
Blackwell said she spent her last day in her classroom at Watts trying not to think ahead.
“I’m trying not to think about it. I’m pretty attached to this building. But of course we’re taking the kids with us. That’s the main part,” she laughed.
With the consolidation of Watts and J.E. Robins, it completes a multi-year project to get all West Side students in updated schools. In 2011, Chandler and Glenwood Elementary Schools consolidated into the Mary C. Snow Westside Elementary School.