As McClain High School nears the milestone of standing as an educational institution for 100 years, the community and alumni are gearing up to celebrate during Labor Day weekend, Sept. 4-6.
While the first cornerstone of McClain was laid in 1914, and the high school building was dedicated the following year, it was in December 1912 that it became public knowledge that Greenfield native, industrialist and philanthropist Edward Lee McClain planned to build, and donate to his hometown, a state-of-the-art high school.
The school was dedicated Sept. 1, 1915, and the first students eventually filed into its hallways and classrooms, which are dotted with approximately 200 art pieces — reliefs, murals, statues and paintings that remain today.
While renovations and additions have taken place over the years, the high school remains as it was built and continues to be a source of pride to those who have been educated within its walls and a source of fascination to those who see it for the first time.
For more than a year, a centennial committee has been planning the three-day celebration for September.
Some of the plans outlined for the celebration include a 5K walk/run, tours of the school, a continuous showing of historical videos of McClain High School and Greenfield, an alumni dinner, an ice cream social, the rededication ceremony and a dance.
A couple of the events require a ticket to be purchased, and that can be done by visiting the website, mcclain100.org.
Printed programs for the event are available at businesses throughout Greenfield.
Also, it was recently announced at a Greenfield school board meeting that Edward Lee and Lulu McClain’s granddaughter and her children will be travelling from Georgia to attend the centennial celebration.
A book highlighting the school through history and photographs has been put together by the Greenfield Historical Society for the occasion as well. Visit greenfieldhistoricalsociety.org for information on how to obtain a copy.
For more information about McClain and the activities planned for Labor Day weekend, visit mcclain100.org. On the site is information about the upcoming centennial celebration, photos, commemorative items available, videos and stories relating to the school and its benefactor.
Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.