Twenty years ago, many residents of the North End of New Bedford, myself included, said goodbye to something that played a significant role in our lives.

On Sunday, June 22, 2003, Normandin Junior High School opened its doors at 81 Felton Street one last time to give alumni a chance to fill their senses with the sights, sounds and smells of the old place before the wrecking ball was called upon to take it all away.

A new Normandin Middle School replaced the aging brick school where I, and my father before me, were educated.

20 Years Since New Bedford's Normandin Jr.High Was Demolished
Courtesy Spinner Publications

The building was open to allow former staff and students to wander freely through the halls, from classroom to classroom, to the library, the cafeteria, the gym, and yes, the shops.

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I arrived at Normandin in September 1970 after graduating from the original Abraham Lincoln Elementary School in June. The Lincoln School was also demolished and replaced after I passed through. Is your grade school still standing?

It was amazing the names, faces and experiences that came rushing back upon entering what seemed to me to be a much smaller school building that day.

20 Years Since New Bedford's Normandin Jr.High Was Demolished
Townsquare Media Photo

I recalled Miss Flynn, Miss Dedopulous, Mr. Ryan, Mr. Moyer, Miss Correia, Mr. Sykes, Mr. Levesque, Mr. Peters, Mr. Salk, Mr. Kuliga and so many more instructors, who for whatever reason, left a lasting impression on me.

I graduated from Normandin in 1973 and didn't return until June 22, 2003, 30 years later. It has been 50 years since I departed Normandin for New Bedford High School.

Normandin Junior High was demolished in 2003. I'm glad I had the chance to say goodbye before it was.

Time flies. It does, indeed.

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