RIDGELEY – The next stop in the Tour of the 7 C's promoted by the Mineral County Chamber of Commerce gets underway in Ridgeley Saturday with Homecoming.
By Ronda Wertman
RIDGELEY – The next stop in the Tour of the 7 C’s promoted by the Mineral County Chamber of Commerce gets underway in Ridgeley Saturday with Homecoming.
A variety of events are planned throughout the day, starting with a vendor fair at Nelson’s Auto from 9 a.m.to 1 p.m.
Opening ceremonies get underway at 1 p.m. and will also be the kick off for a town history scavenger hunt.
During the evening, the Ridgeley VFW will welcome guests with food and drinks.
Ridgeley alumni at this week’s meeting of the mayor and council asked that organizers of future events coordinate with the alumni association in scheduling and spreading the word of activities in town.
Many alumni have been stopping by the school as demolition proceeds with phase one of asbestos abatement.
“It’s an emotional thing,” said Councilman Duke Lantz, who has talked with many alumni stopping for a final look at their old school.
“It’s been really nice to talk to some of them. This little town is special,” he said, noting that the building means different things to different generations. For many it was their high school and they can tell you which teacher was in each classroom. For younger generations it was their primary and middle school with another set of memories and teachers who walked the halls.
With the beginning of the phase one asbestos abatement this week, the school is off limits to everyone.
“If you go in, Jake (Ridgeley Police Chief Jake Ryan) will arrest you,” said Mayor Mark Jones.
Lantz cautioned residents of the tape designating the asbestos area. “It’s very dangerous to be inside the building,” he said, noting that the walls won’t be coming down for a couple weeks as estimates for asbestos removal have increased from a week to two to three weeks.
Councilman Nick Imes and town foreman Bobby Lambert took interior pictures before the closure and were able to salvage some desks, which residents picked up from outside the school.
Bricks from the school will be saved and when available will be at the town hall for alumni to pick up for free during regular business hours.
Imes and Lambert assured residents that items that were salvageable are being saved.
Over the years, class pictures and other items were removed from the school and currently are being held for safe keeping at the Allegany County Museum with hopes that they will return to Mineral County.