Bickel Elementary Celebrates 110 years [PHOTOS]
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – A birthday party was held at Bickel Elementary, but it wasn’t for an administrator, teacher or student. It was for the school.
Bickel celebrated 110 years with an open house on Thursday.
Community members gathered in the school’s auditorium to hear messages from, among others, Mayor Shawn Barigar and district Superintendent Wiley Dobbs.
“The community has taken care of this school,” Dobbs told the audience.
Construction of Bickel began in 1905 and opened a year later with 395 students, PTA co-president Donna Simonson told News Radio 1310 in a former article. Elementary grades met on the first floor, higher grades on the second floor. It wasn’t until Twin Falls High School opened in 1911 on Shoshone Street that Bickel became an elementary school.
After years of use, the building was deemed unsafe and construction on a new building started in 1937. It opened a year later using the desks and books of the original school, Simonson said, but the district today still celebrates the anniversary of the first school’s opening. The current building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
During the open house, students were stationed at various classrooms and other parts of the building where they presented to guests short histories about the rooms or other features of the school. Paper displays were posted on the walls, recalling celebrities, fashions and moments from the past.
In the school’s library, fifth-grade student Makayla Miller showed guests a framed display of letters from popular children’s author Roald Dahl. At one time, she explained, fourth-graders wrote letters to Dahl, telling him how much they enjoyed his books. He responded in kind.
Ashlyn Marin, another fifth-grader, explained about a mural in one of the school’s hallways that depicted plants and animals of the Magic Valley.
And in the school’s lunchroom fifth-graders Olivia Fish and Zakk Hoover talked about the room’s stage, piano and kitchen.
As with traditional birthday parties, guests were treated to cake before they left the decades-old school.