TURBOTVILLE — Five-hundred-sixteen. That’s the number of bricks placed in slots Monday, July 6, at a new pavilion which is part of a park paying homage to one piece of the Central Susquehanna Valley’s educational history.
Approximately 20 community volunteers, including members of Boy Scout Troop 622 of Turbotville, helped put the finishing touches on a picnic pavilion built at the Limestone Township Consolidated School Memorial Park in Montour County.
Dale Diehl said the park stands at the site of the former Limestone Township Consolidated School, built in 1932 on land now owned by the township, next to the California Grange building.
The school was used until 1975. It was part of the Montour County school system, and later became part of the Warrior Run School District.
Four years ago, Diehl led an effort which raised $5,000 to have a monument — featuring the former school’s bell — built on site.
After the monument was erected, Diehl said school alumni decided they wanted to further enhance the park. As a result, A Pathway of Memories was developed.
Through the project, individuals were able to purchase engraved bricks to be placed at the site, in honor or memory of individuals associated with the school.
“I have 387 bricks sold,” Diehl said. “I have space for about 516. We don’t want to stop at 516. We can make another pathway (to place the bricks along).”
The 387 engraved bricks were placed Monday, July 6, in slots in the floor of a new picnic pavilion at the site. Twelve picnic tables at the pavilion were built as an Eagle Scout project completed by Thomas Royles, who will be entering ninth grade at the Warrior Run High School.
Diehl said the 387 bricks were permanently put into place Monday using a sealant. The remaining spaces were filled with blank bricks, which can be replaced with engraved ones as more are purchased.
“We have the bricks laid out somewhat in accordance with where (the individuals represented by them) were in the school,” Diehl explained.
For example, he said bricks containing the names of former students who would’ve been in the same classes are placed on the floor close together. Bricks in honor and memory of students are also placed close to ones containing the names of teachers they had in school.
Leon Hagenbuch, one of the volunteers assisting with putting the bricks in place, said it’s important to keep the history of the school alive.
“We had a school here that was torn down,” he said. “This brings back history that’s (otherwise) going to be forgotten.”
Diehl said a location where a school once stood is the perfect spot for a park.
“It helps the community in the sense that the community right here doesn’t have a gathering place,” he said. “What we’re setting up here is to give the parents and children somewhere (to gather), like what they had with the school.”
Bricks can still be purchased for $35. Proceeds are used for upkeep of the park. To order a brick, contact Diehl at 570-437-2380.