GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Saturday morning, dozens of graduates of the old Gulfport High School gathered with city officials on the front lawn of their alma mater for a special ceremony to ensure the history of the building won't ever be forgotten.
"It's more than brick and mortar. It's a way of life," George Shloegel said.
After the colors were presented and the national anthem was sung, Gulfport leaders unveiled the alumni-cast marker that's placed in front of the old Gulfport High School Building on 15th Street.
Shloegel says this ceremony is to commemorate the memories and character built behind the four walls of the more than 90-year-old building.
"The school itself is intertwined with the City of Gulfport in every aspect of our town. So, as you drive by, your heart beats a little bit. Behind those walls, great things happened in our lives," Shloegel said.
Arthur Platts graduated from the school in 1943.
"Our class got a tour of this just before it shut down, and they were talking about tearing it down and we said, 'No. We want it like it was,'" Platts said.
As a member of one of the last classes to have seen the old school in its last days, Platts is grateful that his school was brought back to life.
"It's great. I just think it's a wonderful thing for the community. I had a lot of good old times here. Got in trouble a lot of times," Platts said.
Betty Howard Page is class of 1959 and the winner of the marker replica. She says she couldn't be more proud of her city leaders for helping fellow alumni hold on to the love and memories of their school.
"It's wonderful to see it. It's a beautiful building. Everything has aged so very nicely. I'm just proud that they could keep it in the community," Page said.
The old, but newly renovated building will now serve as office space for the U.S. Attorney's Office.