John Shearer: The Red Bank Brick Children Become Transfer Students

Thursday, July 18, 2013 - by John Shearer
Clay Rogers puts Red Bank girl student back together at Red Bank High School
Clay Rogers puts Red Bank girl student back together at Red Bank High School
- photo by John Shearer

The brick boy and girl students at the old Red Bank Middle School have officially become “transfer” students.

Within recent days, the iconic brick pupils have been moved from the former school building on Dayton Boulevard to the front of the current Red Bank High School on Morrison Springs Road.

Thursday afternoon, workers Clay Rogers and Randy Barbee of contractor Marty Green’s firm were well over halfway finished installing them in their vertical brick frame on the side of the school by the Susan Ingram Thurman gymnasium.

Mr. Green, who was supervising the work, said he thought the project might take four days, but now it looks like the total time will be about eight days, he said. The reason is that the bricks had to be removed and put in their new home with equal care.

But as a Red Bank High alumnus, he was glad to help preserve them.

“It sort of means a lot to me,” he said of moving the students that were on the outside of the 1955 Harrison Gill-designed auditorium wing of the school.

As has been in the news in recent weeks, the old students have been saved from the wrecking ball. The old Dayton Boulevard school building – part of which dates to the late 1930s – is being torn down by the city of Red Bank, which is envisioning selling the site for development.

With rallying cries from Red Bank High and Middle School graduates and other patrons, an effort was made to save the brick students and display them on Morrison Springs Road.

They no doubt became the most popular students in Red Bank during the campaign.

Mr. Green, who has the contract for the demolition of the old school, offered a discount of $8,000 on the project. A fund-raising effort was started by former students and others, and Hamilton County Commissioner Joe Graham from the Red Bank district offered $4,000 from county funds.

As Mr. Rogers artistically worked away at making sure all the bricks were in the right places, he showed the obvious care of a parent with a child.

“It makes me feel a part of history,” he proudly said.

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