Elmhurst High School alumni, their immediate families and school staff will have a final opportunity to tour their former school and talk with fellow alums in November. The Waynedale News, the event organizer, has invited the following groups each day of the two-day event:
Friday, Nov. 10, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.: Alumni who graduated in years 1969 or earlier, and their immediate family only, as well as former staff members.
Saturday, Nov. 11, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.: Alumni who graduated in years 1970 or after, and their immediate family only.
All attendees will have the opportunity to experience a 25-minute guided walking tour of the main floor of the building, passing main features of their experiences as a student or staff member, such as the music rooms, courtyards, stage and auditorium, lecture room, staff areas, cafeteria, library main gymnasium and more. A suggested donation of $5 per person will be collected at the entrance. Proceeds will benefit the Waynedale community, split between the Waynedale Sidewalks &Trails Initiative and the Waynedale Corridor Project.
After the tour, guests are invited to the main gym for a meet-and-greet with fellow alumni. There will be light refreshments and seating to allow guests to reminisce about their experiences. There will also be Elmhurst mementos available for purchase as a fundraiser for Waynedale community causes.
The idea for such an event came from many alumni’s comments, which is when Daniel Westrick (Class of ‘95) and Josh Wolfe (Class of ‘96) began a Facebook group to start gathering input and collecting all class lists of names of alumni. With their experience of organizing community events, The Waynedale News was asked to lead the event and to pursue an agreement with Hanson Aggregates. Camille Garrison, marketing director for Kingston Residence Assisted Living and local community advocate, has also assisted with the primary planning of event space, volunteers and tours.
As the building has been sitting empty for seven years, attendees should be cautioned that there is some deterioration and they will be required to sign a liability waiver before entering the building. No food, drinks or pets will be allowed inside.
Elmhurst High School was built in 1929. In March of 2010, the Fort Wayne Community School Board voted to close the school, citing a budget reduction. FWCS announced the property for sale in March of 2017, and was accepting bids for the property until July 2017. Recently, on Aug. 25, Hanson Aggregates, a mining company and neighbor of the property, put forth a winning bid and has taken over ownership of 28 acres, which includes the building and an adjacent farm parcel.