Former students take one last walk through Hillcrest Jr. High before school is torn down

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MURRAY, Utah -- A century-old school's time is about up, as Hillcrest Junior High School in Murray will be torn down to make way for a new school.

This week, former students got to walk through their old stomping grounds one last time.

“There are portions of this building that are actually some of the first buildings that we had in our school district,” said Steven Hirase, the superintendent for Murray School District.

The school was built in 1911. At that time, it was called Hillcrest School and served grades one through eight. Since then, the school has served students of all ages, and at one point it was a combined junior high and high school.

“I’ve actually been here 11 years, so I’ve seen it through quite a few evolving processes,” Hillcrest Jr. High School Principal Jennifer Covington said. “But this last year it’s been kind of fun. It’s been like ‘Oh, this is the last year we’re going to do this, and the last year we're going to do this.'"

Because the city of Murray has developed so much, they've outgrown Hillcrest Jr. High, so the school district decided to tear it down and build a new school.

“We had it evaluated for what it would cost us to rebuild and bring it up to today’s standards, and it just was so expensive that we decided that probably the best solution for our school district would be to rebuild,” Hirase said.

Hirase said safety is another concern.

“Honestly, it’s a non-safe place for students also,” he said. “There are so many hallways and so on and so forth that if we had a significant emergency it would be difficult to get all of our students to safety.”

The public asked if they could walk through the century-old building one last time before it's demolished, and for many who attended the school, it was a trip down memory lane.

“I really wanted to show my kids I found out my 7th grade locker is now a classroom," former student Anne Thomsen said with a laugh.

Covington said students are sad to see the school go, but are excited for the future.

“The current students were really excited,” she said. “They've helped us move a lot things out of the building over to the new building, so they’re really excited. They’re sad to see it go, but they’re excited to move into a new building where we’re going to have a lot of new opportunities.”

One thing the district wanted to make sure wasn't lost is the more than 100 years of history built throughout the years.

“There will be a section in our new junior high that will preserve some of the artifacts and the building and some of the older parts in the building to kind of remind our students of the past that we've enjoyed here,” Hirase said.

For more information about the new school and the progress on its construction, click here.