Alumni Gather To Say Goodbye To Mayo Demonstration Academy
TULSA, Oklahoma - Starting next school year, Tulsa Public School's Mayo Demonstration Academy will have a new home.
Alumni from the past 20 years got the chance to say a final farewell to the building they have grown to love.
It looks like a class reunion, but it's really a chance to say goodbye.
"Kind of mixed messages,"former principal Andy McKenzie said. "We love the facility and grew to love it over the many years, so that part of it is sad. Hard to believe 20 years."
Andy McKenzie is choked up talking about the school that he worked at for 16 years.
During the coming summer, the Mayo Demonstration Academy will move to the former Wilson Middle School building.
It's part of TPS's Project Schoolhouse initiative and it's a change that many are calling bittersweet.
"I have a lot of good memories here," Kenneth Joslin, Principal: I think I learned how to be a good teacher when I taught here. At the same time, I'm real, real excited about the new building. It's a beautiful facility. We get to offer the program to more people."
This school is one of a kind.
There are no walls, so that means multiple classes are going on at the same time.
"You learn to deal with distractions and you know, there's no desk anywhere," Mayo alum Ian Sowle said. "It's all tables so you really learn people skills. You get to know people, working in a team and everything."
But perhaps the saddest part about the school's move is the memories that will have to be left behind.
"Me and my friends use to sneak out of class," alumnae Paige Bracken said. "We went to the bathroom together. We were all in different classes so we would meet in the bathroom and talk and then we'd get in trouble because we took 20 minutes in the bathroom. The bathroom definitely reminds me of this school."
There is a little bit of good news: Principal Kenneth Joslin says they're tearing down the walls inside of Wilson Middle School to try to make the building look as similar to the original school as possible.