Alumni of all ages turned out Saturday to say farewell to Hambright Elementary School, which will be closed at the end of the school year and replaced with a new school in the fall.
Former students from as far back as 1949 pored over old yearbooks and photographs and toured the school, which was built in 1936 at the former Hambright family farm. A highlight of Saturday’s farewell open house was the unveiling of the contents of a time capsule that had been buried on the school grounds since 1991.
Inside were black-and-white photographs, faded news clippings, school newsletters, student essays, concert programs and other memorabilia. A 1990 survey of students placed in the capsule indicated that Tom Cruise was the pupils’ favorite actor and Paula Abdul was their favorite singer. One student placed an essay in the capsule describing one of the biggest fads at Hambright in 1991 – making friendship bracelets.
Alumnus Richard Myers, who attended the school from 1952 to 1956, came from Washington, D.C., to visit Hambright one last time. Also on hand was Doug Tshudy, a Harrisburg resident who started first-grade at Hambright in 1949. His mother was the school’s first crossing guard.
Many current parents and students also attended the event, along with current and former staff members, who reminisced as they paged through yearbooks from every decade of Hambright’s history. The open house was held in conjunction with a chicken barbecue that raised more than $2,000 for the school’s Leader in Me program.
Hambright will be replaced by a new school being built next to Manor Middle School. The school district is seeking a buyer for the old school building.