Betty Nichols-Spann graduated from Enterprise City School in 1943 and returned to the building for its centennial celebration open house on Sept. 24, 2019.
The building now known as the Enterprise Career and Technology Center first opened its doors in 1919 as the elementary school in the City of Enterprise. The building would be renamed College Street Elementary School in 1960, the name most residents still remember it by.
Nichols-Spann is proud to be a graduate of the school and even brought her diploma from 1943 back with her when she returned for the open house.
She sat down and recounted some of her memories of the city and the school she graduated from.
“Schools were the heart of the town; church and schools,” Nichols-Spann said. “And this school was good.”
She said that she attended the first, second, half of third, fifth grade and sixth grades of school in the building. One thing that stood out to her was the assemblies.
“We had assemblies every Friday and our piano, music teacher would play and we had to march in and sit with a teacher,” Nichols-Spann said. “I thought that was the most beautiful auditorium I had ever seen. But when I came back a few years ago for a birthday party, it seemed like it had shrunk. But today—in my old eyes—it seems pretty large.”
Nichols-Spann graduated from the school during World War II and she said that she remembers roller skating down College Street on Dec. 7 when Pearl Harbor was attacked. She said that at the time, she didn’t understand how serious that event was. She said it would stay that way until her Girl Scout Troop started collecting for the war effort.
"We would go up and down the street gathering foil from chewing gum, string, coat hangers because they used them someway,” said Nichols-Spann. “Grease, old grease, because they used them someway in the war effort. And then we’d hear of the older ladies who played bridge say they were giving up bridge for the war effort.”
Nichols-Spann said she’s proud to be part of the legacy of the school and that new students will continue to make memories in the same building she once did.
“It makes me feel good,” Nichols-Spann said. “I was so afraid that the building would be lost so it was a happy day when I read on Facebook that it was going to be the career tech (building). Very happy. I don’t like to see things torn down because they’re old.”