Grandview Heights Schools: Edison/Larson students, staff place notes, artifacts in time capsule

Alan Froman
ThisWeek group
Edison Intermediate/Larson Middle School fourth-grader Evie Guse, 10, looks on as project engineer Colleen Cross shows a time capsule that was put inside the wall of Grandview Heights Schools' new grade 4-8 building March 9.

Grandview Heights Schools is building a new grade 4-8 building that will serve students for decades to come.

A component that will be out of sight for 50 years was added in a ceremony held March 9 at the construction site adjacent to the current Edison Intermediate/Larson Middle School building.

A time capsule was dedicated and placed inside a wall with a plaque instructing that it be opened in 2071, when the school building will mark its golden anniversary.

The container was created by Colleen Cross, a project engineer with Corna Kokosing Construction Co. and one of the construction supervisors for the project, Edison Intermediate Larson Middle School principal Quint Gage said.

"It's not a very large box, but we filled it with some small artifacts and notes that we invited students and staff to write and submit," he said. 

Students and staff were invited to suggest or submit items that could be placed in the time capsule, Gage said.

Pictured are the contents of a time capsule that was placed inside the wall of the new grade 4-8 building March 9.

"We put in some masks as a representation of the pandemic we've been going through," he said. "One student submitted a hockey puck because he plays hockey, and another student put in a commemorative coin."

But most of the items placed in the time capsule were notes, and many of those were written by seventh-graders.

Seventh-grade science teacher Lana Williamson said she and her colleagues wanted to coordinate a project for the time capsule that would involve all their students.

"We felt it was an interesting time to put together a time capsule" and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students, she said.

EILMS intervention specialist Naome Allison created a 2-by-3-foot facemask, Williamson said.

"We thought a mask serves as a good representation of the year 2020," she said.

Each student was given a notecard and given the prompt of "what would you want yourself to know about this time in 50 years," Williamson said.

The students wrote their messages on the notecards in December, just before the winter break, she said. The cards were attached to the mask, which was placed in the time capsule.

Many of the students chose to write serious and sometimes personal messages to their future selves, Williamson said.

"I think it's a result of living through this pandemic," she said. "I think it made some of them more reflective about our current situation."

It's likely a greater percentage of the messages would have been more lighthearted if this were a normal time, Williamson said.

Seventh-grader Kenneth Lewis said the message he had left for himself noted that "we currently live in a pandemic and that school was cut in half," a reference to the hybrid model under which the district has been operating. 

In the hybrid model, half of students attend school in-person in the morning and the other half during the afternoon.

When the time capsule is opened in 50 years, "it's going to be beneficial to the new generation of kids to hear what happened in 2020 from the perspective of the people who lived through that period of time," Kenneth said.

"My notecard talked about all of my favorite things," Caroline Mischnick said. "Like my favorite foods, songs, classes and things I like to watch on TV.

"I wrote these things because when we open up the time capsule in 50 years, I want to remember everything about me as a kid," she said. "I think the time capsule is a great idea and a cool way to remember our younger selves."

Riley Messmer said he had written that he was in seventh grade and about the coronavirus "and that it was crazy."

"I also wrote about my goals of being a surgeon and being an author," he said. "I wrote this because I want my 63-year-old-self to go back and remember times like 2020-2021 and to feel proud that I worked hard and accomplished my goals."

The time capsule is "an amazing idea," Riley said.

"When people come back in 50 years and can go back in time to their younger mindset, it will be so cool," he said.

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