MARMET, W.Va. — Current and former students, staff and community members of Marmet Elementary School got to walk through the building perhaps for the final time before it closes for good.

About two weeks remain for Marmet students and teachers. The last day of school is Thursday, May 30. However, the school wanted to host a “community walk-through” event for all who have memories from the school. Folks were able to share those memories, take pictures or relay stories to others on Monday.

The school building has stood in the town of Marmet since 1937. First-year principal Justin Hersman said he met a gentleman at the school Monday afternoon who said he went to elementary school there over 80 years ago at the age of five.

“The impact that it’s had has been really big for this community,” Hersman said about the school.

Marmet Elementary is closing at the end of the school year and will consolidate with Chesapeake Elementary School. The Kanawha County Board of Education voted to move forward with those plans during a meeting this time last year.

Hersman said the staff are doing all they can to make the end to this school year a special one for the students.

“It’s been a typical school year and we’ve tried to make the students feel like they’re wanted and they’re welcomed,” said Hersman, who was also blown away at the number of people who stopped by the school Monday.

The school unfortunately had a lot of turnover with both students and staff departing when the announced closure came last May. Despite that, Hersman said the teachers and staff at Marmet, a lot of them being in their first year at the school too, have answered the call and worked hard to make this year a memorable one.

“We have really good teachers at each grade level,” he said.

One of those teachers is third-grade educator Allison Washburn, who is also in her first year at Marmet. Washburn had 15 kids in her class to start the year. That number dropped to 11 as we’re now into the final few weeks of class.

“Emotionally for the kids, my group, they’re starting to get really nostalgic and they know the school is closing,” she said.

Washburn is in her third year as an educator. She said she loves the feel of a “community school” where everyone knows everyone or the grandparents of a family went to the same schools as their grandchildren.

“It’s sad that more and more of them are closing down because people are tied to places with memories and legacies,” said Washburn.

She’s hoping to land on her feet at another school somewhere in the Fall.

Chuck Buttrick has spent a little more time at Marmet Elementary and in the community. He’s been the school resource officer for the past 11 years. The closure upsets him, but the kids, who commonly called him “Officer Chuck,” were always a bright spot.

“There’s been some great classes come through here with excellent teachers,” Buttrick said. “I know they’re going to do well at other schools. Other schools will be blessed to have them.”

One of those former students who went to Marmet is now a middle schooler. Gabriel Caruthers was a fifth grader at Marmet last year. His sister is now in his shoes as a fifth grader this year. He remembered having great teachers throughout elementary and jokingly said school was “easy” for him.