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Your Views: Lets remember Northwestern school at community center
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I've often wondered why people are willing to give a penny for your thoughts, but will not hesitate to put their two cents' worth in a discussion.

My thought on the new community center under construction near Fair Street School is probably not worth a penny, but here's my two cents' worth anyway.

When I first saw the conceptual drawing of the center, I was amazed by the similarity of the new center to the old Northwestern Elementary School. For those that remember the old school, I will give you a penny for your thoughts on the comparison of the two buildings.

Northwestern had three primary entrances, much like the new community center, with an arched porch cover over the main entrance. This new center gives us the perfect opportunity to honor the history of the school where many of us received our earliest education.

Northwestern offered first through fourth grades. We did not have a cafeteria at the school, so we walked up the hill to Fair Street for lunch. The lunchroom at Fair Street was on the same site as the new center about 25 yards from the building under construction.

Northwestern was located at the base of Fair Street in the vacant field between Martin Luther King Boulevard and Mill Street. Even then, we experienced some of the same problems schools face today, one being overcrowding. To deal with the overcrowding problem, students who lived north of Myrtle Street attended school in the morning, and those that lived south of Myrtle Street attended in the afternoon.

My best friend, Willard Robertson, attended morning session, and I attended afternoon. I wanted to be with my friend, so for a while I attended both sessions until Mrs. Jennie Harris made me stop. Believe me, more is not necessarily better.

There was a family store located near each school: Mr. Blake's across from Northwestern and Ms. Marie Crosby's across from Fair Street.

Now that you have my two cents' worth, I would like to suggest the new center be called Northwestern Center At Fair Street or Northwestern Community Center At Fair Street. We have so much history in this community that is lost or forgotten. Let's not miss this opportunity to reach back in history.
Someone owes me a penny.

Jerry Castleberry
Northwestern Class of 1957, Gainesville

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