BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — For the second time during the 2022-2023 school year, officials from Stratton Elementary School invited former students and teachers to paint tiles.

The tiles will then be used as part of a mural that is being placed in the cafeteria of the new school building.

Current students and faculty painted their tiles back in November.

Raleigh County Schools Assistant Superintendent Serena Starcher said the support is great to see.

“It’s been a great opportunity to talk with others and to learn more about Stratton and what it meant to the community,” said Starcher.

Vicki Curtis attended Stratton from 1969 to 1971 when it first integrated and later came back to teach from 1998 to 2015. So when the opportunity to come back to the school and reflect while embracing the future arose, she had to take it.

“It’s a lot of memories, lot of memories,” said Curtis. “I walked down through the breezeway to the other building, which was the shop building when I was here in junior high, and now it’s the K-2 wing. And my daughter and I, we walked down, had a little memory lane, had a trip down memory lane. It’s awesome.”

Curtis added the new building will allow students to learn more.

“They’ll have what they need as far as wiring for technology,” said Curtis. “Technology is what we need right now so they’ll have more access to the technology and the classroom setups will be better.”

Along with painting the tiles, the school is continuing to collect memorabilia from throughout its history, which will be displayed in a specially designed room inside the new building.

Bricks from the old building built in 1939 will be removed and used to line one of the walls in the tribute room.

The new building is expected to be completed in time for the 2023-24 school year, which begins August 24th.