The Long OVERDUE Goodbye

Students, alumni prepare to say goodbye to old Greenback School

A school where generation after generation attended will soon see a big change.

"My son went there," said Ronnie Lett, a 1969 graduate of Greenback School. "My grandchildren are there now."

Come January, the 92-year-old Loudon County school will have a new building for the 900 students to go to. Located a few yards away from the current structure, the state-of-the-art building will cost $24 million.

On this last week of the last full year for students, alumni reflect on their time in the kindergarten through 12th grade school.

It is one of East Tennessee's few public K-12 schools.

"I had older brothers, so it was kind of like home and family type of atmosphere," said Claudette Ervin, a 1992 graduate and current media specialist at the school.

There were memories of the good, like the numerous sports championship banners hanging in their gym. There were also memories of the heartbreak, like the damage done to the building after recent tornadoes in 2011.

The current Greenback School has gone through several expansions in its nine decades, and time has taken its toll on the building.

"Well I'm glad they're getting a new school. Its outlived its purpose, and it was getting to be a bit of a pain," said Lett, who is also the town's fire chief.

With a new vision on the horizon, the hundreds of alumni with thousands of memories said will be tough to let go.

"The place where I grew up. My kids are going to grow up in the new building and they're not going to see this," said Ervin.

As for what happens to the current structure, school officials said that is still up in the air.