History of Bergstrasse Elementary will live on

By on June 29, 2011

By: GARY P. KLINGER Review Correspondent, Staff Writer

History may have been taught in the hallowed halls of the former Bergstrasse Elementary School, but soon the school building itself will become history.

The building’s days are numbered as demolition is about to get underway to make way for the campus of Lives Changed By Christ Church. But before meeting with the fate of a wrecking ball, the church took time to allow members of the Cocalico Valley Historical Society one last walk through the building to claim anything of historical significance.

Ephrata Township supervisor and lifetime member of the historical society John Weber and several other society members joined Tim Barley Sr., LCBC’s executive director of multi-site ministries. During the journey through the halls the group was able to identify several items to add to the society’s collection.

Members of the historical society were interested in retaining the original copper letter above the entrance to the building. LCBC also donated the large metal plate placed in the building following its original dedication in 1929 as well as one placed after an addition to the building in 1960. A third addition was added in 1966.

One item of keen interest to the historical society was a rumored time capsule which was said to have been placed behind either the 1960 or 1966 date stone.

"I was told there was a time capsule and that the contents of it were given to the Cocalico Valley Historical Society," said Weber a few weeks after the search.

Society board member Jim Tsudy confirmed that not one but two time capsules had been found and taken to the historical society. One was found behind the 1960 date stone and the other behind the 1966 date stone. One is made of copper; the other made of tin. Both capsules are soldered shut, carefully preserving whatever may have been tucked inside for posterity.

"We’re in the planning stages of an opening ceremony for the time capsules," said Tsudy. "We’d like to invite as many of those connected with the school or the time capsules to come out for that event."

No date has been set for the "opening" ceremony. Tsudy said the society hopes to locate perhaps even some of the names listed on the date plaque for the event.

During two successive Saturdays in May, more than 200 volunteers from the church were on sight to assist in light demolition, removing such things as doors, ceilings, wood trim, copper and aluminum. An auction was held on June 4 to sell a variety of items, from trim and millwork, to the decorative front door, several old clocks and a number of other miscellaneous items.

According to Barley, plans are right on schedule to begin construction of the new facility. The church plans to open its doors for worship as early as September 2012.

Parties interested in the time capsule "opening" ceremony should contact Tsudy at 733-2175. More BERGSTRASSE, page A6

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