Sale of Barnard Elementary bricks brings comfort to alumni

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Reported by: Sharon Phillips
Updated: 12/01/2012 7:40 pm Published: 11/30/2012 3:35 pm

Midtown Tulsa --

Brick by brick, hundreds came to buy pieces of an historical part of Tulsa’s education system. Red bricks from the fire-ravaged Barnard Elementary School building went on sale Friday afternoon. Built in 1925, the school was home to powerful memories for the students and its staff.

It’s not just a brick to Richard Griffin, but a powerful piece of history that holds a special place in his heart.

"It's like something you were a part of and now it's gone and so I guess it happens to all of us, but I'm happy to have the bricks to serve as a memory,” says Griffin.

Richard attended school at Barnard from second to sixth grade, and like so many others the school is a fond memory of his childhood. He has a special use in mind for his bricks.

"Well, I just wanted to have it as a memory, and I want to use these bricks as book ends,” he says.

The Barnard building was destroyed in an early morning fire on September 5th. Because the ash and rubble became a toxic hazard, the building had to be torn down.

Eleanore Davy Carmack is also a Barnard alumni and was thankful TPS decided to sell 800 salvaged bricks to the public.

"I wanted to purchase all my bricks to give to all my friends who live out of town who went to Barnard with me,” says Carmack.

Although it won’t bring back his school, Barry Hensley still gets choked up thinking about Barnard and what the school meant to his family.

"I bought 25 bricks to do a patio in front of the house and it's going to be special. I haven't felt like that since my parents died and it was really a home away from home. There was just something special about it and the teacher's were there for decades, and it just became an extension of your house,” says Hensley.

If you would like to purchase a brick, you still can. You can call the Tulsa Public School’s Education Service Center at 918-746-6298. Profits from the bricks will go towards paying the demolition. Right now, TPS is still working with the insurance company on a settlement. It’s not clear what will become of the property or if the school district will rebuild there.

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