The End of an Era for Biggers-Reyno Schools

MAY 22, 2006 -- POSTED AT 9:00 P.M. CDT  

BIGGERS, AR -- Over the past 2 years, schools all across Arkansas have consolidated due to mandated state legislation. Some consolidate and remain open, just under a different school district, but some are forced to close their doors permanently. That's the case as Biggers-Reyno merges with Corning. After 109 years, Monday was their last full day of classes.

"It's been a hard year. We knew this was coming several years ago because our student enrollment kept declining, but that doesn't make it any easier. It's just a sad time for us," says Angelia Carlton, a high school math teacher at Biggers-Reyno.

The final decision to close the doors at Biggers-Reyno came last year. The school will consolidate with Corning starting in the fall. However, students have the option of choosing their school district and the faculty told us its being split three ways between Corning, Maynard, and Pocahontas.

"We're so great here and it's a real nice school and everything and it's just tearing it apart," says Kyle Radcliff, a 9th grade student at Biggers-Reyno.

Like any small town, most of the students and faculty have lived there all their life, so seeing their school close is something Mrs. Carlton says you never want to see happen.

"This is the third generation of my family. Both of my parents graduated from here, my two brothers and I graduated from here, and all of my parents grandchildren graduated from here, so it is a very sad time for us," says Carlton.

The hallways at Biggers-Reyno hold years of memories and regardless of the future, they say that's something that can never be taken away.

"Basketball, baseball, just hanging out and having fun; All kind of memories, in class and out of class," says Jordan Morrow, a 9th grade student at Biggers-Reyno.

Those memories will stay with the students and faculty of Biggers-Reyno for years even though their school doors will be closed, but most everyone said they have one plan in mind.

"I guess just try to go on and go to the next school, wherever that will be and make memories there," says Morrow.

The school gym at Biggers-Reyno will be used by the Corning School District, but plans for the other school buildings are still unknown.