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Community bids farewell to Fair Street
Event marks end of building that will be demolished for new school
Kim Davis, Fair Street International Baccalaureate World School assistant principal, right, mans a table Sunday while Colleen Cook with daughter Mary, 5, fill out a form to purchase an engraved brick at the new Fair Street building during a community gathering in Gainesville. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

Bricks for Books

What: Buy a commemorative brick to support the new Fair Street International Baccalaureate World School and a book will be purchased with the proceeds for the school's library.
Cost: $25 per brick. Order forms will be on the Fair Street website and Facebook page. Make checks payable to Fair Street.
More Information: Bricks from the Fair Street demolition will be free to the public. Check the Fair Street website and Facebook page for updates on when they will be available.

As Larry Jackson walked through the halls of Fair Street International Baccalaureate World School one last time Sunday at the Farewell to Fair Street event, all he could remember were good times.

"Where do I start? I grew up here in this area. Before they built (Lanier Apartments) over there, that's where my house was. I was always in walking distance," said Jackson, a lifetime Gainesville resident.

"It's going to be different not seeing Fair Street here."

Fair Street will be demolished this fall and rebuilt over the next two years.

Jackson attended Fair Street from first through seventh grade. The school was integrated during his last year and he remembers meeting two good friends during the time period.

Jackson wasn't the only Fair Street alumnus roaming the building Sunday.

"The gym used to be back there and we used to sit here and play jack stones every day during recess," Gainesville resident Shannon Bell said.

Bell, who attended Fair Street during fourth and fifth grades, said it was sad to see Fair Street go because of all the history in the school, which was built in the 1930s.

The Farewell event was a chance for Fair Street alumni, faculty and students to tour the school and help set the stage for the new building. Principal William Campbell was selling commemorative bricks to be included at the new Fair Street.

Former classmates stopped to say hello in the hallways just as they did in school. Alumni brought their kids — even those who never went to Fair Street — to share their memories and stories, and local churches and businesses provided food and drinks for everyone to share. It was one last time for the Fair Street community to come together, as the school was moved to the Wood's Mill High School campus, where it will spend the next two years.

Darvin Velazquez, a rising third-grader at Fair Street, was one of many current students who came to the event to celebrate the last day of the school.

"My mom went here a long, long time ago so I'm glad to see them take it down," Shamyira Hudson, 7, said.

Tija Edwards, 10, is a rising fifth-grader at Fair Street. She's one of the students who will not attend the new building, but is excited nonetheless.

"I hope there's no leaks and no bugs," she said, adding her little brother would still be at the new school.


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