TERRE HAUTE —
Signs from the former Chauncey Rose Middle School were popular among the auction crowd gathered Saturday at the new home of the Boys and Girls Club of Terre Haute.
So were pieces of the original gymnasium flooring from Gerstmeyer Technical High School.
While the current gymnasium will remain, the former middle school will be demolished this spring to make way for a new facility. So a crew from Branam Auctions took a variety of contractors and collectible seekers through the former classroom building on Saturday, selling everything from carpeting to wall paneling to ceiling tiles, as well as lab tables, chalkboards, cabinets, partitions, doorways and windows.
“I’m looking for a chalkboard for my grandkids,” said Dave Morris as he flowed along with the crowd from room to room. Morris said his son attended CRMS, and the chalkboard will be for his children.
Marc and Dawn Lorey were interested in items for “Castle Lorey,” the annual Halloween haunted house that they construct for children.
“Emergency lighting, and whatever else strikes my eye,” Marc Lorey said of his purchase intent. “Just because it’s one thing here, doesn’t mean it can’t be something else. It’s amazing how you can repurpose stuff, on a budget.”
Mike Fuson said he never attended the school at 13th and Locust streets, but his parents did.
“I’m looking for something I might put in my house so I can say, ‘hey, my parents went there’,” Fuson said.
Larry Beasley, who attended Chauncey Rose Junior High back in the 1970s, said he was at the auction just to see what prices things would bring, and possibly to get some memorabilia. Among the items he bought were the faculty dining room signs, as well as a wooden bookstore sign that hung over the double half-doors in the cafeteria.
Beasley said that since he is also a trustee for the Eagles Lodge, he was looking for some ceiling tiles that might be recycled.
Mitch Morris bought the Computer Lab sign with special reason.
“I got it because this school made me choose my career for the future,” said the former CMRS student. Morris now attends Vincennes University and is studying computer networking as a career.
Several people picked up pieces of the old Gerstmeyer gym floor. The wooden planks in varying sizes were laid out along one wall of the cafeteria. Many of the floor pieces had been sold or given away in the past to be made into shadowboxes or other mementos.
Sue Morris got a piece of the floor for her sister, who attended Gerstmeyer.
Marsha Ladd of Terre Haute said she was a member of the final graduating class — 1971 — so getting a board had a special meaning for her.
“I’m going to take it home and clean it up and then I’m going to inscribe it Gerstmeyer 1971,” Ladd said.
She previously had three bricks from the demolition of the old school, but she has since misplaced them. The school was important to multiple generations of her family. Both of her parents and one sister graduated from “Tech,” she said.
Several contractors were interested in salvageable parts of the building — a prime example of recycling the past. The exterior doors and windows won’t be removed until a temporary fence secures the site for demolition on March 1.
Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.