It's a bittersweet day for current and former bulldogs of Alfred Ely Beach High School.
Their ferocious loyalty drew quite a few - along with community and school leaders - to say goodbye to structures that have housed Beach High for almost 65 years.
"The pride lives in our hearts. Despite this building; despite this dirt - we are the foundation. And it's going to take us as the alumni and the community to make sure that our students - all students - have what they need at the new Alfred Ely Beach High School," said Tabatha Crawford-Roberts, president of the Beach Cuyler Bulldogs, United for Community and Schools.
The history of Alfred Ely Beach High School goes back as far as 1867 with the Beach Institute.
The school is named for publisher and benefactor Alfred Ely Beach and it was a school for freed slaves.
The Beach High School known by more recent generations was built in 1949.
Today, Alfred Ely Beach High School is standing - not just for African-American students, but for all students.
"It was like home," said Virginia Thomas. "It just felt so inspiring to be one of the legacies that's finishing off at old Beach High."
"Well, this is a school that I hate to see go," said Charles Mingledorff, BHS class of 1977. "I will hold it dear to my heart.
The new Beach High School is almost complete.
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