Evening Shade, AR - As the Evening Shade High School is being demolished, graduates and teachers from the school said it is hard to see it go.
The school was first annexed to Cave City around the mid-2000s and has not seen a student in its halls for about four years.
Patty Sample taught science at the school for 29 years and said the school was the community's heart.
When demolition began, she said her old classroom was one of the first things to go.
"We'll get past it, but that initial shock that it's really happening it's kind of traumatic," Sample said. "I think for all of us."
Donna Spurlock taught 2nd grade for 28 years at Evening Shade.
During that time, she remembers seeing generations of families sitting together during basketball games.
After the school closed, she said the town lost that part of being together.
She said it's hard to let go of a building she spent so much time in.
"Well it's a part of my life, you know," Spurlock said. "When I see the kids, I get a hug from most of them, and it's sad to see it go. It's really sad."
Around October of 2015, John Kunkel, a graduate of Evening Shade helped organize a reunion.
He said 500 people showed up with some driving from Illinois to attend.
Kunkel explained they knew the building was going to be demolished due to disrepair.
He continued to say that the demolition helped spark unity in the town as they remembered the good times shared in those halls.
The high school is the only building being demolished at this time.
The city continues to use the auditorium and campus for other events.
Some said this is keeping Evening Shade's heart beating.
"We just want to keep our community alive, and it does take a lot of work," Sample said. "It takes a lot of people working on it, and that's what we're finding right now is we're having to make our entertainment again."
Sample said they still hold dances and let some of the kids practice at the auditorium.
She said seeing younger people getting involved and choosing to live in Evening Shade makes her happy because she said they are helping to revitalize the town.
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