One last look at Nashua’s Elm Street School

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Nashua Schools Superintendent Dr. Mario Andrade addressed the crowd gathered in the cafeteria for the final tour of the Elm Street School. Photo/ Dan Splaine Photography

NASHUA, NH – The Nashua school department opened the doors one last time at the Elm Street School June 25 for a final public tour of the venerable building. Former students and Nashua residents from multiple generations took the opportunity to walk the halls.

A crowd of a few hundred gathered in the old cafeteria one last time to pay homage to the school that played a role in the life of Nashua for over 80 years. Ranging from recent students of the middle school to students representing high school classes going back to the 1950s, they came to see one last time.

For many, it was a sad occasion.  For others, it was curiosity and nostalgia that brought them there. Superintendent Dr. Mario Andrade suggested that the event should be a celebration. Acknowledging that change can be difficult he thanked the crowd for attending and reflected on the importance of the school community.

“While we may be closing the doors the memories live on, the spirit of Elm Street whether it’s the high school or the middle school, that’s what we need to celebrate. Those lasting moments walking through the hallways the relationships we built over time. There are many generations here celebrating what we have in common, the love of Nashua, the love of education, the love of one and another.  I think it is fantastic that we all came here together”.

(From left) Doty Comoli, Ted Michos, Nancy Sargent-Plourde, and Nancy Gray all members of the Nashua High School of 1967 gathered for the final tour of Elm Street to celebrate the friendships and memories made in the school. Photo/ Dan Splaine Photography

He also noted the necessity of change. He encouraged the visitors to head to the third floor to experience the heat of a nearly 90-degree day to be reminded of the limits of the building. 

From the cafeteria, the crowd dispersed into small groups on a self-directed tour down memory lane. Old friends connected for the first time in years, families shared their multi-generational experiences in the school, and there were many moments of quiet reflection.  The halls rang out with laughter and excited voices sadly for the last time.

Old friends connecting during the Elm Street Tour. Jeana Lopez-Carasco who served as the Elm Steet school nurse for 30 years and is now head nurse of the Nashua School District connected with old friend Chis Stawasz of American Medical Response in the halls during the final school tour. Photo/ Dan Splaine Photography