Tuesday night marks the beginning of the end for the old Louisa County High School. Damage from August's earthquake shut it down last year.
Tuesday night, former faculty members are saying goodbye before demolition begins. That demolition will officially begin in just a couple of weeks, almost a year after that earthquake struck Mineral.
Tuesday some faculty members relived that terrifying moment, along with decades of other, more pleasant memories.
Louisa County school social worker Catherine Law took final snapshots of the building she used to call home.
Law said, "It's been such a major landmark for the whole community, for a long time, for many, many people."
Behind this chain-link fence, demolition of the earthquake-damaged school is already beginning. Outside an old paint can, trash, and debris litter the sidewalk. Inside, old signage and band instruments sit at the front door. Crews are dismantling items from inside like heating and air conditioning units as they prepare to tear down the exterior walls in a couple of weeks.
Louisa County Superintendent Deborah Pettit said, "That's when you really feel like the demolition is happening; when you see those walls start to come down."
Pettit welcomed teachers, faculty, and others into this makeshift cafeteria, to say share their memories and say goodbye.
"It's difficult, but it's progress too and it's part of our recovery because we didn't really ask for the earthquake, but it did happen," she said.
For many of the faculty those few seconds will stay with them forever.
Special education teacher Barbara Meadows recalled that day saying, "The students looked at me and said, 'What's happening?' And it just hit me, when a TV came falling off the wall and almost hit a kid in the head, that this was an earthquake."
It was an earthquake that will soon bring a brand new Louisa County High School.
Pettit says the school board will select an architect to design and build a new high school at their July 3 meeting.
Thomas Jefferson Elementary School was also damaged and has almost been completely torn down.
Faculty Says Goodbye to Louisa County High SchoolMore>>
Derick Waller joined the NBC 29 news team in August, 2010. Prior to this, Derick graduated with degrees in both broadcast journalism and political science from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Email/Follow on Twitter/ Full Story