The community at Lorne Ave Public School is planning a bittersweet event to honour the historic institute one final time.
The 141-year-old school will officially close its doors at the end of the academic year after a decade-long fight to keep it open, despite falling enrolment.
The End of an Era Bash will be held at Lorne Ave Saturday with carnival-style games, live music, a reptile petting zoo, as well as food and refreshments.
“This is a city school. This is a part of our city,” Organizer Jo-Anne Bishop tells AM980. “We just want everyone to come out and throw off this school right. It’s a shame that we have to close and we want to do it right.”
The East London school, which opened in 1875, is one of many schools across Ontario that has fallen victim to a major decline in enrolment.
The school has been operating at just over 25 per cent capacity with only 250 students. It was built for 880 students.
Come this fall, students will be transferring to Bishop Townsend, which will be renamed East Carling Public School, in September.
“Some of the kids are a little nervous about the transition to the new school. Other kids are diving right in and they’re okay with it,” Bishop says. “As for the parents, I think a lot of us are really sad about going from a walkable school, a school were most of this community walks to, to having to be bused to the new school”
The farewell party will run rain or shine Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. The event is an open invitation to the whole community.
With files from Rana Aladdin