Demolition on Marshall building almost complete


Photo by Ashley Downard

Dumpsters are being filled with the remains of the old Marshall Elementary School this summer. The new, almost finished school that will replace it, can be seen in the background.

By Taj Simmons

Very soon now, the old Marshall Elementary School will be no more. 

Demolition began in May, when Marshall’s students were forced into virtual classes to give deconstruction crews the full summer to knock the building down. A new $13.6 million Marshall, scheduled to open in the fall, is being built adjacent to the old school.

Principal Chad Hinton said the new building will allow administration to focus on helping students, rather than having to set aside manpower to fix issues within the building.

“There always seemed to be plumbing issues within the building. We were constantly having to close restrooms because of it,” Hinton said. “The electricity was not designed for the amount of technology we have today. So, decisions every day revolved around whether we were going to have to run the air conditioning or be able to use the computers that we have.”

Marshall Elementary classroom teacher Kate Bowers voiced similar concerns in teaching her students in the old building.

“I think being in a building and a classroom as old as we were in, it definitely had some disadvantages,” Bowers said. “But at the same time, I understand that all those years, getting rid of an old building and creating a new one is a lengthy process.

The old school opened in 1967, and is named for Maud Marshall, who taught children in the district for 51 years before her retirement in 1954. She died in 1970. The new school will continue to bear her name. 

The school’s namesake, Maud Marshall, taught in Talawanda schools for 51 years before retiring in 1954. Her portrait was hung in the Marshall school library when the school was dedicated in 1967. Photo provided by Talawanda School District

While Hinton did feel the building was outdated, he also said he appreciated the memories he made during his time in the building

“The kids and the people and the events we have, the concerts we held in the building, the family picnics where everyone came and had lunch with their kids, the write to read week, where everyone decorated everyone’s door with themes of different books,” Hinton said. “I think that’s what I’ll miss the most about the old building.”

However, the biggest realization Hinton had with the old Marshall Elementary building is a tie Hinton said that runs on a much deeper level.

“I think the biggest memory I’ve had is realizing I had a group of kids who came from kindergarten in the building, and graduated from high school at Talawanda,” Hinton said. “I went to get a haircut, and the person cutting was one of the kindergartners that started (at Marshall), and graduated recently.”

Wreckers and backhoes turn the old Marshall Elementary School into a pile of bricks soon to be hauled away. The gymnasium near the center with white air conditioning units on the roof, will remain intact. The new school, which can be seen on the far right, will be attached to the gym. Photo by Ashley Downard

More than 50 people shared their memories of Marshall on the Oxford Talk Facebook site in the past few weeks. The school, 3260 Oxford/Millville Road, served Talawanda School District for 54 years. 

“For me personally, I have tons of memories I can think of with the building,” said Michael Wengler, who attended Marshall in 1978 and 1979.  “I was the only kid they let walk to the school because I was so close to it. I remember playing in the gym, and my teachers, specifically Mrs. Nichols.”

This year the school had about 360 students in pre-K through fifth grade.