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Saying good-bye to the old Andy Woods Elementary

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By Amanda Roberson

TYLER, TX (KYTX) - The bricks are laid and the roof is in tact at the new Andy Woods Elementary School in Tyler. It's one of five elementary's to be replaced in Tyler under the 2008 Tyler ISD School Bond. As CBS 19's Amanda Roberson reports, some Andy Woods graduates aren't ready to see the old building be replaced.

The old Andy Woods Elementary has been a staple in Tyler for more than fifty years and the place thousands of students learned their a-b-c's.  The school held it's final "open house" Sunday, allowing generations of teachers, students and principals to say good-bye.

"Everything seems a lot smaller." 1976 Andy Woods graduate Kyle Hall drove in from Dallas to join his mother and say good-bye one last time. "It's not quite as I remember it because when I was here in the early 70's these breezeways were open. It still had sort of that open campus feel."

"We've outgrown our school!" Andy Woods Principal Kami Hale said the move is bittersweet, but a new school is needed.

"Our kids wont have to walk into the rain to get to the restrooms that are in our portables now and to get to the gym and the cafeteria so we won't have umbrellas everywhere," Principal Hale explained.

Despite the challenges, fifth graders Emily Adkins and Mary Ellen Northcutt have followed the steps of older siblings down these halls and said it's hard to say good bye.

"I've been here so I know all the teachers," explained Adkins. "And so I'm upset to see it get knocked down."

"There's just like lots and lots of special things about this place," Northcutt said. "And I'm really going to miss it."

"I may try not to drive by," Hall added. "I grew up in this neighborhood and the idea of not seeing my school here, I'm not going to like that."

But Principal Hale said Andy Woods will continue being a strong school. "It just has so much culture and family atmosphere and we just hope that it's not just in the building and that it's in our people that are here all the time and so we plan to take that with us and build that in our new building."

Teachers are expected to move into the new building June 5th, just two days after school lets out for the summer.

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