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A Drive By Budd School

August 5, 2011 - Jennifer Brookens
It's something I'd been avoiding ever since school got out. When I'd buzz by on Albion or South Prairie avenues, I'd maybe give the building a glimpse, trying to see if there was anything new. But knowing its fate, I tried not to dwell on it.

Strange for me to get sentimental, since I'm a transplant to the area and my daughter was only there for two years. But I feel a little bit of mourning for the Budd School building. The other day when I needed a place to park and take my lunch break I ended up there instead at a park or just in front of the office. Looking at the side from Albion, I could understand why a lot of people didn't feel it needed replacing. Other than the overgrown grass and bushes now, it still looks like a pretty nice building.

Part of the old chain-link fence has been taken down, the remaining playground equipment is fenced off, and the beloved oak tree by the office entrance still stands. However, you could see the weeds growing around the perimeter that was marked when there was an effort to save it. Perhaps it's just me waxing poetic, but the top branches of the tree seemed to be sagging, as if it knew its days were numbered. Some smaller branches that had blown off were dried up and withered on the awning area over the door. The summer storms had knocked them loose, and no one was around to clean them away.

I found myself sad as I drove away, knowing that would probably be the last time on the premises as we currently know it. Sure enough, someone mentioned this morning that a different fence was going up around the building to keep people out of the area.

So what am I getting at from all this? Maybe just some simple observations. Change is inevitable, and the sadness I know some of the former students of Budd will feel is that melancholy indication that time marches on. But for the younger ones, that sadness may be eclipsed by the excitement of a brand-new building, where new memories and traditions will form.

Yet it's always a little tough having to say goodbye.


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Earlier this year, workers attempted to save and relocate the oak tree at William Budd elementary school.