Libertyville High Class of ’47 goes back in time
Libertyville High School Class of 1947 member Shirley Hanlon (center) of Mesa, AZ, hugs classmate Mary Stevens Wulz (left) of Waterford, WI, before touring their old high school at the Brainerd building (the old Libertyville High School) on Wednesday, Jun
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Updated: July 22, 2012 6:30AM
“Who’s paying you, ref?”
That was what Libertyville High School students said at home basketball games as they sat in the Brainerd Building bleachers watching the game in the “new gym.”
Members from the Class of 1947 toured their old high school, the Brainerd Building, as part of their 65th class reunion celebration this month. Class members like Jane Ahrens still recalled where she sat in the bleachers cheering for the Wildcat basketball team.
Ahrens, now of Gurnee, said this was the first time reunion festivities have included a tour of their old high school building. The Class of 1947 gets together every five years.
“Not too many classes do a 65th anniversary. The reason we did this (tour) is because it’s a lot of old memories, good and bad. It was a good building, a great bunch of people,” Ahrens said.
About 30 members got together for a noon reunion luncheon June 13. Less than half went on to tour the Brainerd Building.
There were 100 students in the graduating class of 1947, according to Bob Kromrey, who was class president.
“We were the first class in the triple digits,” said Kromrey, who used to live half a block away from the Brainerd Building.
Brainerd opened in 1917 to the first Libertyville High School class. An addition was built in the late 1920s. There was a gym in each portion of the building, which students in the Class of ’47 called the “old gym” and the “new gym.”
The “new gym” was used for graduation and athletic events. The “old gym” was used for prom, Shirley Hanlon, now of Arizona, recalled. She said they did a lovely job setting prom up at the school back then.
“It was a beautiful building. I loved every day I went here in high school and I don’t think the kids today can say that,” Hanlon said.
Classroom use at Brainerd was discontinued during the 1999-2000 school year. Prior to that, it was used as the building for freshmen.
Student lockers no longer line the hallways. The building looked run down to some of the Class of ’47. “The (biggest change) is the emptiness. So much damage was done to this building,” Ahrens said.