Thursday’s Doors ~ March 31, 2016: Closing a school



The trio of arches protect three doors

in this photograph. They are each

painted black over solid metal

doors. The antique scroll designs

below some windows have cream

stonework displaying intricate


This is a sturdy building labeled,

Frank B. Willis High School.

This building which has

withstood the

“Test of Time,”

over the years

until recently.

List of current dangers and

drawbacks are numerous.

Poor inner conditions, fire hazards,

limited classroom spaces mean

this building will need to become

an office building for adults.

Dangerous areas will either be

Repaired or blocked off.

Fifth graders will have their final

elementary school experience

back where they attended their

Primary grade levels.

This building for many years was

Delaware, Ohio’s high school.

When I moved to this town in

1986, it had become a middle

school where I substituted.

The cost for daycare, before

and after school for my family,

ages 6, 4 and 9 months old,

was too high to continue teaching.

I applied for full time positions but

did not have any particular staff

nor administrator~

“Who knew me.”

Happily, I started a professional

babysitting program, attracting

two full-time families and an

“Open space” for guests.

I did this caretaking

for nine summers and

seven full school years.

When I returned to subbing,

I lasted a year and took some

Activities Director courses at

Columbus State Community College.

Four years of this, once again turned

to education becoming

an Early Intervention

preschool teacher.

This school will close its doors

to students, at end of

2015 – 2016

school year.

All 3 of my Grown children

expressed a certain

amount of regret.

Jamie had played in a spoon band

called, “Tipping Cows,”

on Willis’ wooden stage.

His two stepkids,

Lara and Landen,

plus Marley

have sung


Oldest daughter

recalled recently the

theater productions she

had assisted with set design

and building, along with applying

makeup to middle school actors.

Youngest daughter remembers

the annual talent show try-outs,

the fun times of practicing being

like “Charlie’s Angels” (remake)

and Destiny’s Child (lip-synching).


There are two moldy large stone

Scrolls which have antiquated

Quotes on either end of

Willis middle school.

They are interesting to me:

~ One ~


~ Two ~


This rambling Thursday’s Doors

post is part of a weekly challenge

to take photos of unusual,

interesting and historic doors.

Check out Norm Frampton’s

Doors Challenge, with links

to other participants at:

Thanks for checking this one out!


37 responses »

  1. I really like the black trim on this red brick building. It looks like a beautiful structure.

    It’s so sad when these old buildings reach a point of disrepair when they need to be *abandoned*.

    Unfortunately in my home town, 2 old schools were simply torn down. There were so many memories of several generations in those schools.

    I hope this one really is restored and converted to a new purpose. It would be a shame to see it go down.

    • They have serious plans to move the administration offices here, Joanne. I hope they follow through, as you mention it would be quite a shame to tear it down. So sorry to hear this happened in your own home town. There is a smaller school made into a home in Delaware, Ohio. I think I will try to capture the doors to this little schoolhouse. πŸ™‚

      • I always thought it would be really cool to live in a converted church or school house. I’ve seen many of them on various hikes. They’re very charming.

    • I didn’t say that it was too bad your town closed and torn down. This was sad!
      Oh, I agree would be cool to live in an older school building. The one I mentioned is not as small as I remembered, Joanne. I drove past it to get a photo today! πŸ™‚
      Funny, how Doors seem to take precedent over many aspects of my To Do list.

    • It seems a shame but hope it is possible to transform into school administration offices. This would be nice and respectful of its heritage, Diana. Thanks for weighing in on the subject. πŸ™‚

    • Marissa, I hope they follow through on moving the school administrator’s offices here. I do think it is a good and safe move to send the 5th grders next year back to their 5 “home” or original schools. This will over crowd a bit but the new middle school is nearly completed closer to the high school. Thank goodness the school levy passed! πŸ™‚

  2. I know what it means to see a community school close. My high school (which never had the character of Frank B. Willis HS) closed its doors after only 20 years. It was built close to SeaTac Airport, so when the port expanded for an additional runway, half the homes in the area were condemned. Nonetheless, students from each of the graduating classes still stay in touch and occasionally schedule All Classes reunions. We even have our own Facebook page. – Mike

    • I wish we had combined reunions at my HS reunions, Mike. My brothers and I shared lots of friends, especially when Rich was a freshman, Randy a junior and I was a senior! It is nice to know your class stays close in touch.:)

    • They practically could condemn this school since it has a lot of dangerous areas. I am happy they are considering “fixing this building” to allow the administration building occupants to transfer. They will need to close off areas where students in the past, may have become caught or hurt in a disaster like a fire or tirnadoo, Judy. Adults won’t be as likely to wander into these areas while working in offices.
      We have five elementary schools that used to “feed” into this building. This year, it housed only 5th and 6th graders while the 7th and 8th graders went to a separate building, which has a new addition being constructed.
      My grandson, Sky, will go to the newer location while my grandson, Landen, will stay in his elementary school another year. Progress is sometimes good!
      Our school levy passed, as this is a university town, where education is valued along with safety. πŸ™‚

  3. It has served its purpose and now it’s time to move on. Sometimes it’s better (costwise) to let the old buildings go than to try to make renovations to bring them up to modern safety standards.Still it’s sad to close the doors on history. Maybe it can be used for some other purpose that doesn’t involve having a lot of people in it.

    • Oh, somewhere in my ramblings above, I mentioned plans to move administrative offices from another location to here. This is hopefully going to happen to preserve the history of this building.

      I was just sad to think I won’t hear any more concerts or see any more plays on the small middle school stage here. They are shifting the students into different areas around town. πŸ™‚
      Thankfully, our school levy passed, Anneli.

  4. I like that entracne Robin, but as soon as I saw it, I thought: “oh, that probably isn’t a school any more…”I hope they find a use for the building that will allow them to preserve its character.

    • I certainly hope so, too.Lara, my son’s stepdaughter, and Skyler, daughter’s son both attend school through May here. Younger children have had their concerts here and theater productions. Thanks, Dan. πŸ™‚

  5. My elementary school was torn down 2 years after I’d moved on to junior high. It somehow survived the first round of school district budget cuts while I was in third grade, but didn’t make it past the second round… and since the building dated back before WW1 (I believe, it was definitely OLD), it was abandoned and razed. Me and my sisters collected a few bricks from the demolition site, but lost track of them over the years…

    • I really am also sorry for you. Glad you shared this elementary school tearing down and saving the bricks, too. Thanks for saying this and I got a photo of a squirrel today and will post!

  6. Sad nostalgic post Robin, seems all your family have various fond memory’s of those doors.
    I love the old buildings, they are in sharp contrast to today’s austere constructions that lack character.

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