Mesa Junior High School rings final school bell

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

MESA, Ariz. -- On a normal day, staff, teachers, and especially students would be stoked over the last day of school. Thursday was different.

After 60 years, Mesa Junior High School rang it’s ‘end of school day’ bell for the last time.

The school is shutting its doors for good due to poor enrollment and about $4.5 million dollars needed in upgrades to the school’s campus.

For some, plans to demolish the school after closing day adds insult to injury. Currently, talks are underway to transform the campus into a community center.

The school's principal of eight years, Dr. Cathy McDaniel, made announcements all Thursday morning via campus-wide speakers about  procedures students should follow as they will be reassigned to different schools in the district.

Dr. McDaniel said Thursday was bittersweet.

On the one hand, she said there is a sense of pride. After six decades, the school is a part of history. There are people in the valley who have had generations of family members who have been students at the school.

On the other hand, Dr. McDaniel said it’s sad to see the school shut down.

According to the Mesa School District, students from Mesa Junior High School have already been enrolled in various schools in the district and are all set for the first day of the next school year.

All of the staff and teachers have been reassigned or offered new jobs as well at different schools.

Dr. McDaniel will now become assistant principal and Red Mountain High School in Mesa.