MUNISING, Mich. (WJMN) – Administrators at Munising Public Schools (MPS) have begun planning a centennial celebration for the city’s historic Mather Building. The building, which initially opened its doors in February of 1922 as a combined middle-high school, is now Mather Elementary School.
The school was built with a forward-thinking plan that has stood the test of time for generations of students.
“It was state of the art at the time,” said Nicole Lasak, Principal at Mather Elementary School. “Full pool, diving board, locker room facilities, auditorium, so it was a really cool structure for the community.”
Now with the one-hundredth anniversary approaching early next year, the school is aiming to involve the community in a variety of ways.
“We’re kind of planning a twofold celebration,” Lasak said. “One celebration would be for our students in the district so on the hundredth day of school of the hundredth year we’re planning a celebration just for the kids. We’re working on getting pictures of what the building used to look like because we have had a bond proposal in the last couple of years that allowed us to renovate some of the classrooms. So we are going to get together kind of like a scavenger hunt storyboard walk through the building so that students can see what those classrooms used to look like compared to now, which we will use for the community event as well.”
Once the winter weather starts to improve, the school is hoping to hold a second celebration in May that can involve more than just the students. While an initial committee meeting produced ideas including a celebration in Mather auditorium with music from across the decades, MPS will be posting a form on its Facebook page in the coming weeks that will allow community members to state their interest in participating in the celebration and favorite memories of the building.
As part of looking back on its century of existence, MPS is hoping to open up a time capsule cornerstone from the building’s first year of existence as part of the celebration.
“We’re thinking on a separate date the community could come and see the cornerstone be taken out and possibly opened,” Lasak said. “And then have those materials open for the public to view at the ceremony. We’re working on a separate date just for the cornerstone opening so people can be a part of that. And then hopefully our kids that are a part of the district now can refill that cornerstone and put it back in for the future.”