East Toledo’s Waite High School has two big back-to-back observances scheduled this month.
After undergoing four years of renovations, the school will hold a rededication ceremony on Friday.
On Saturday, the alumni association will celebrate the school’s 100th anniversary with a dinner and dancing.
The district has spent about $20 million on renovations, including roof repairs, new bathrooms and windows, an improved science wing, and an elevator.
The rededication is slated for 1:30 p.m. in the Grant Murray Field House.
The pep band, orchestra, and show choir will perform.
“We’ll do a ribbon-cutting and have a ceremonial cake with 10 candles, one for each decade,” explained Principal David Yenrick, who retires at the end of the school year. “Each student will be given cake in the field house, then the kids will be let outside to eat the cake, weather permitting. We’d prefer they didn’t eat cake on the new floor.”
Jean Clark, chairman of the Alumni Association of Morrison R. Waite High School, said she expects a big turnout for the centennial celebration, which is to start with a 5:30 p.m. social hour at SeaGate Centre downtown. Dinner is at 6:30, with the evening continuing until midnight. The reservation deadline has passed.
“We have 1,500 confirmed reservations. We’re assuming that as many will come as can come,” she said.
Among those scheduled to be at the rededication are Toledo Public Schools Superintendent Romules Durant; James Gant, the district’s business manager, and Gary Ashford, the architect who oversaw the renovations on a daily basis.
State Rep. Mike Sheehy (D., Oregon) said he planned to attend the rededication and centennial dinner, even though he is a Cardinal Stritch High School graduate.
“My family has a long history with Waite High School,” he said. “My father, John, was a graduate and I have a brother and sister who graduated.” He said he would bring a proclamation to the dinner from Ohio House Speaker William Batchelder (R., Medina).
Mr. Yenrick said the rededication event would include guided tours and last about an hour. He noted that the school has enjoyed strong support from its alumni over the years. Graduates from the 1960s had a reunion in 2010. The ’70s grads held one in 2011, while those from the ’80s gathered in 2012 and the ’90s last fall. There also was a luncheon last fall, attended by 450 people, for anyone who graduated 50 years ago or more, and another lunch in December for a former Waite educator.
Contact Carl Ryan at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6095.
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