Chamblee Charter High School senior Jessica Cruz adds to the "Graffitit Wall" in the cafeteria of the soon-to-be demolished, old Chamblee High building.
Chamblee Charter High School senior Jessica Cruz adds to the “Graffitit Wall” in the cafeteria of the soon-to-be demolished, old Chamblee High building.

Chamblee Charter High School students, parents and alumni threw their old school building a goodbye party before its scheduled demolition over the coming winter break.

On Dec. 13, the Chamblee Parent Teacher Student Association held a “Last Dance” in the high school gym.

“We did this so that people would have a really good last memory of the building and the people who have gone here,” said former Chamblee Governance Council Chair Belinda Wedgwood.

The idea for the event came together in October, and the organizers reached out through Facebook to encourage alumni in the area to attend. The goal for the evening was to raise around $5,000 for school equipment and supplies.

“Many of the active parents in the school were concerned about increased needs during the move into the new building, so we wanted to think of a creative way to support the teachers and students,” said Chamblee PTSA president Lisa Thule.

The high school building, constructed in 1963 with additions in 1964, 1967, 1971, 1975 and 1997, has been used for a large part of the school’s history. Chamblee High marks its centennial in 2017.

Students will move in January into a new academic building. New athletic fields and performing arts facilities are scheduled to open at the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year.

The Dec. 13 party featured a jazz cafe, the dance and the opportunity to add hand-drawn graffiti to a cafeteria wall. Local businesses contributed to the event.

“A high school should really be a central draw to the community, and I hope that people will want to be involved in what happens at the new school,” said Wedgwood.

The dance brought some multi-generation Chamblee high families to the school. Sophomore Coen Williams, who played tenor sax and trombone with the jazz band, shared the occasion with his dad, a 1986 graduate.

“I still look back on high school fondly, and I have remembered so much just since walking back in the doors [for the dance],” said Erin McNicholas of the class of 2004.

 –Mollie Simon

Painted lettering on the cafeteria wall at the old, soon to be demolished, Chamblee High School building.