Blackboard dating to 1935 is found at Norman middle school

A blackboard dating to 1935 with writing intact was discovered at Longfellow Middle School by construction workers this summer.
BY JANE GLENN CANNON jcannon@opubco.com Published: August 9, 2011
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— A blackboard dating to 1935 with writing intact was discovered at Longfellow Middle School by construction workers this summer.

Workers uncovered the board when they tore out an interior wall as part of remodeling work at the middle school, 215 N Porter Ave.

Chalk writing on the board indicates a zoology teacher was instructing students on the requirements for an upcoming paper.

Mike Mize, principal of Architectural Design Group, the firm hired to oversee district remodeling projects being funded by a 2009 bond election, said workers are doing everything they can to preserve the blackboard and other relics they might run across.

“In this work, you're bound to come across all kinds of surprises, and I wish all the surprises we find are good like this one,” he told school board members at a recent meeting.

School district spokeswoman Shelly Hickman said the blackboard is “just a gem of a find. It's truly amazing.”

Longfellow, as well as the city's three other middle schools, are undergoing extensive remodeling. Much of the construction will continue throughout the school year.

The middle schools, as well as elementary schools and the city's two high schools, are getting state-of-the-art Smart Boards in every classroom. The Smart Boards are interactive electronic white boards developed by Smart Technologies.

The old blackboard is “a nice reminder” of how things were done before modern technology changed the face of classrooms, Hickman said.