HURTSBORO, AL (WTVM) - An 82-year-old school closed its doors for good, sending faculty and students to other schools throughout Russell County.
Teachers, students, parents and community members filed into the gym at Russell Elementary Sunday afternoon to officially say goodbye to their beloved school.
Principal Larry Screws told News Leader 9, "It's been a mainstay in the community and everybody has enjoyed it. It means something to the community and I'm sure they're going to miss it."
The school opened its doors in 1929 as Russell County Training School, and through the years thousands have walked the halls.
"A lot of faculty and staff have memories and have worked here as a part of the system and leaving here and going someplace new is not a hardship but it will create apprehension," said Screws.
Sandra Walton has taught at Russell Elementary for 16 years and has a deep history with the school, "This school has meant a lot to me, it's where I went to school."
And the kids who have spent the past few years here say they will miss the building also, "I didn't want the school to close down, we've been here too long."
5th grade student Damon Lloyd said, "I feel bad that its closing because I love this school and I've been here since Kindergarten."
Even though the doors are closing, the Wildcat Pride will live on. When asked, "What does it mean to see so many people here supporting the school?" the students responded, "It means a lot, happy, it feels great."
Walton added, "It shows that they're interested in what's going on here at Russell Elementary. It also shows they care and they love the school."
The students from Russell Elementary will be attending Oliver in the fall, and the teachers and administrators are still waiting to get their assignments for the school year.