The building did not lie dormant after that; it hosted various education and community programs. The extremely nasty winter months of 2015 though would sadly spur the inevitable: hefty pounds of snow and ice caused the building's roof to collapse, and demolition of the building began in August.
I went to St. Patrick's High School from 1993 to 1997. And driving by the wreckage a couple weeks ago, rather than being struck by the debris, the letters 'CABARE', the 'T' already destroyed, caught my attention.
It was tradition at St. Pat's during musical season for cast and crew to leave their mark on the backstage and dressing room walls. This particular marked memory reminded me that I went to see Cabaret at St. Pat's, before I attended the school. It must have been in 1993, according to Wikipedia, and that was my last spring of junior high.
I don't know why or how I ended up being in that audience, but I remember the actors seemed so mature and cool and talented (they probably were) and I remember whoever played the Emcee was particularly impressive.
I imagine I also thought: junior high is hell, how am I ever going to fit in here? *
Well, I was pleasantly surprised. It may sound cliche or trite, but I think my high school years were some of the best, if not the best of my life. ("I peaked in high school" groan!!!) It was the combination of the amazing and unique and diverse people I got to spend time with, coupled with a large student body which allowed me to embrace my freak-ness, plus an abundance of opportunities, from the school, to experience life in new ways. I don't think everyone had such a positive experience at St. Pat's or in high school, but I was lucky.
Now that St. Patrick's High School is being torn down, I realize in this moment, that I need to keep all those memories, and live more of the best times of my life.
* Junior high being "hell" may be an exaggeration. I found it really hard, but I was so blessed to have an amazing group of friends: we spent lunch hours and singalongs and birthday parties and getting lost in the woods and watching scary movies together - so many great memories!