LAURINBURG — Former students of Washington Park and Pate-Gardner joined arms on Friday at their new school — Sycamore Lane Elementary — as part of a Unity Day assembly that included burying a time capsule and planting a tree.
“June 8, 2015 will be a day to remember for many years to come, when two Scotland County schools became one,” said Pam Lewis, Sycamore Lane Elementary principal.
Officials at each of the former schools decided that one should create a time capsule to be joined as one at Sycamore Lane. Each class presented something to place into the respective vessels. Anything from class photos to students hand prints were placed into the new time capsule that is set to open on June 10, 2025.
“The bittersweet moments shared memories, hopes, dreams and symbols,” said Melody Meredith a teacher who transferred from Pate.
Constructed as a middle school in 1984, Sycamore Lane opened its doors last week for the first time as an elementary school. It now serves students who formerly attended Washington Park in Laurinburg and Pate-Gardner in Gibson.
The Scotland County Board of Education voted in June to close the schools over the summer and convert Sycamore Lane from a middle to elementary school. That vote was the first step in a district-wide consolidation plan expected to take shape in the coming year in an effort to reduce inefficiency in the school system.
“What a great opportunity we have been given to combine great staff and students together in the wonderful facility like this,” Lewis said.
The whole school also gathered in front of the school to plant a tree of remembrance and unity.
“We debated about what kind of tree to plant, but we were looking for an evergreen tree as far as the greenness and the growth, which we will see at our school,” said Mr. Brooks a second-grade teacher. “We were the Patriots and we were the Panthers, but now we are the Bucks.”
Students helped plant the tree along with teachers, parents, and school system officials.
“This is our planting ceremony because we’re planting a tree that’s going to be here and remind of us this day for a long time to come,” Lewis said. “I can’t wait to see the happening that’s going to take place this year and for years to come,”
Abby Hackmann can be reached at 910-506-3171.