Historic BV site turns 100 this Saturday
It's not too late.
The committee planning the 100th anniversary of the historic Buena Vista school is still hoping to find memorabilia, photos and even actual people who've been involved with the Westside elementary.
The “Centennial Celebration” will be Saturday, Oct. 1, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the historic site - now the Westside Community Center, 1628 W. Bijou St.
The event is free and open to the public, but donations are requested for the food.
One past Buena Vista parent (also its PTA president in the early 1990s) has pledged to be on hand. His name is Joe Garcia, and he is now the lieutenant governor of Colorado. At noon, he will issue a proclamation honoring Woodmen Valley Chapel for its work over the past two years in keeping the formerly city- run Community Center operational.
Alan Rasmussen, who was BV principal from 1988 to 2005, has led the planning of the anniversary, with help from the center staff. He said he remembers the Garcia family, which at one point had four students at the school, each about a year apart. “They were wonderful, very smart kids,” he recalled.
A treat for the visitors to BV's 100th will be a few large photo displays, prepared by a Woodmen volunteer and hung in the center hallways, reflecting people and events during the building's years as a school (1911 to 2009). One is an enlargement of a single photo that was taken by a local photo company on the last day of classes in 2009, with all the students standing in front of the school. (Buena Vista moved the next year to the building that had housed Washington Elementary, which District 11 closed after 2009.)
According to the schedule for the day, from 10 a.m. to noon, people can browse around the school/center on self-guided tours. In addition to the above-mentioned photo displays, a slide show of BV memories will be showing on a continuous loop in the center's Hughes Hall, Rasmussen said.
Three items will be available as souvenirs: T-shirts that say “I (heart) Old Colorado City” on the front, with a picture of the historic Buena Vista school on the back; centennial pins; and a copy of “The Young Fifty-Niners,” a book by LeRoy Ellinwood, principal at Buena Vista from 1949 to 1958.
From 11 a.m. to noon, a free lunch will be available (hotdogs, chips and soda), with a requested donation of $2.
District 3 City Councilmember Lisa Czelatdko will introduce Garcia for his noontime comments. Afterward, a “birthday cake” will be sliced up and free pieces handed out with lemonade, Rasmussen said.
Visitors are welcome to continue checking out the center until 2 p.m.
Rasmussen said he has tried to get the word out to as many people as possible from the old Buena Vista, and has also met with David Brilliant, the current Buena Vista principal.
But he is still not sure how big a turnout to predict. There has not been a lot of advance feedback; on the other hand, he said the 90th and 95th anniversaries (when the school was still at the site) both drew well over 100 people.
For more information, call the center at 385-7920 x100.
Westside Pioneer article