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The Old School

Oneida High School - 1955

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Alma Mater

Hail to thee, Oneida High!
May thy spirit never die.
May success thy banners claim.
Crown thy good with lasting fame.
We shall honor thy tradition.
Thy success is our ambition.
Hail to thee, Oneida High!
Hail to thee, Oneida High!

Miss Pendergast
Lyrics by Kathleen K. Pendergast,
our English, French, Public Speaking, and Dramatics teacher.

Firefighters topple chimney top at old high school

Old Oneida High School

April 13, 2009

By Lynn Collier

 On Monday morning, the pressure was on to knock down the chimney on the old high school on Elizabeth Street.

Oneida City Fire Chief Don Hudson and two firemen took about three and a half hours to knock down a sizable portion of the structure with a high-pressure stream from a fire hose, City Engineer Jim Bacher said.

He credited Hudson and Dave Hines of the Department of Public Works with coming up with the idea, which Hudson said was conceived to save money.

“They were looking to implode it using explosives at an additional cost to the city,” Hudson said. Additionally, the excavator being used for other parts of the project was not suitable for the demolition of the entire chimney, he said, so a new method was proposed.

“I’m thankful that it worked,” Hudson said, though past experience using a smooth-bore nozzle capable of generating a high pressure stream made it seem like a reasonable idea from the start.

While the chimney stood 60 to 65 feet tall at the start of the day, by the afternoon, it was a “manageable” 35 to 40 feet, Hudson said.

“The rest we’ll take down with an excavator,” Bacher said.

Hudson said that the job was a success over all, as all bricks and materials fell where they were meant to. Still, it was not exactly a simple task.

“It didn’t come down easy, but it did come down,” he said.

City officials have set aside $291,000 in the budget for the demolition of the old high school. Hudson recently championed the DPW’s work on this project at a common council meeting and noted that costs would be far greater if city officials had chosen to go in another direction.

The article above is from
The Oneida
Daily Dispatch, April 13, 2009,
and is used by permission from the Editor.

Getting Old

Just a few years after we graduated, a new high school was opened in Oneida, NY, and the building we remember was abandoned and basically left to fend for itself. With its life removed, all that now remains is the slowly decaying skeleton.

It's a poignant reminder that whatever begins also ends.

Nevertheless, in the memories of those of us who lived there every weekday of our late teens, this old building's lights are lit, it's halls and classrooms are full of teachers and students and will remain so even after every brick and timber is gone.