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Former high school building to close

The former Arlington High School building will close its doors for good at the end of this school year.  - Kirk Boxleitner
The former Arlington High School building will close its doors for good at the end of this school year.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

ARLINGTON — The former Arlington High School building will take its final bow with the Highland Christian School’s presentation of “Visiting Wonderland,” two single-act plays adapted by Lindsay Price and based on the characters of Lewis Carroll’s famous novels, on May 4, 10 and 11 starting at 7 p.m.

The staff and students of Highland Christian School hope the community will join Alice on her adventures through the looking glass while bidding farewell to a local historic building.

Larry Otto, chair of the Highland Christian School Board, noted that HCS staff members were informed on Feb. 12 that its lease of the former Arlington High School building would not be renewed, which will require HCS to relocate in time for the 2013-14 school year.

“Although we are going to miss this building, Highland Christian School is not a building, nor is it defined by a building, but rather a community of Christian believers comprised of passionate and loving staff, teachers, students, parents and volunteers,” said Otto, who added that the school is in search of a new facility. “God often asks us to take steps of faith, and this is an opportunity for us to live out our faith, by trusting in Him. At Highland Christian School, we want to do more than provide a Christian education. We want to see God work on our behalf, that we might be a witness for His glory in Arlington and surrounding towns.”

Andrea Conley, public information coordinator for the Arlington School District, explained that the district’s 10-year lease of the building to the Arlington Boys & Girls Club is up this June, and that analysis determined that it was simply unfeasible to continue using the building.

“The basement is built like a bunker, but the upper floors are not built to meet current seismic codes, and it would be financially prohibitive to retrofit them,” Conley said of the facility, whose art deco touches bear signs of when it was first built in 1936.

Bill Kinney, director of the Arlington Boys & Girls Club, reassured families who take advantage of their programs at the former Arlington High School building that those activities and services will find a home elsewhere in the Arlington School District.

“Right now, we’re looking at moving to Presidents Elementary,” Kinney said. “This really doesn’t affect us at all. We’ll still have our before- and after-school programs, starting at 6 a.m. and ending at 6:30 p.m., and we’ll still hold our summer day camps. It was a great old building for us to use, but I understand the issues preventing us from using it anymore, and I really appreciate that the school district found room for us at Presidents.”

In the meantime, tickets for “Visiting Wonderland” are $10 for adults, $8 for students, or a discounted family four-pack for $20, with special $5 pricing available to mothers for the May 11 showing.

“Don’t miss this opportunity to see a glimpse of who we are,” Otto said.

The play will be performed in the auditorium of the former Arlington High School building at 135 S. French Ave.

 

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