October 16, 2008
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Ceremony rededicates refurbished school to community

by Rayna Allonce and Claire Silva, assistant news editor and staff writer

On Sunday, September 13, 2009, LHS alumni, administration, and students, as well as city officials and community members all gathered to celebrate the rededication of LHS after four long years of construction. For some, it was a day filled with memories and reflection; for others, such as the Grenadier Band, it was a day to honor their school.

Attendees gathered on the front steps of LHS at 2:00 PM as the Grenadier Band paraded on Linden Street.

Following opening remarks by superintendent, Dr. Joseph Lewis, and principal, JoAnn Durante, a speech by Gardiner Kreglow, ‘10, set the mood for the rest of the ceremony.

Spectators laughed at speeches about the transition from Freshman Campus to Main Campus that were given by Kevin Peterman, ‘11 and Elizabeth Reynolds, ‘11.

Principals William Burkhardt, Dean Donaher, and JoAnn Durante were offered words of recognition for their efforts during the planning and construction of the new Liberty High School.

Liberty High School was then honored with a ribbon cutting and the alma mater, sung by the Liberty Choir.
During the course of the celebrations past students were also showcased, including Jim Muschilitz, ‘71, a Hall of Fame inductee.

“It’s nice to be honored where I put so much hard work in,” said Muschilitz.

On a whole many felt that the rededication ceremony was a success.

“It was wonderful that we honored the history and legacy of Liberty High School in the way we did,” said Peterman.

With the formal ceremony ending promptly at 3:00 PM, visitors eagerly flooded the school halls. Once inside, they were able to see the renovations. Many were also able to visit the French Club’s bake sale and listen to student musicians in the art studio, among other things.

As the history of the school played over television monitors, visitors took a self-guided tour throughout the building.

“The natatorium is awesome. It is beautiful. What a pool,” remarked Linda Weiss, ‘66.

When asked, Lewis said his favorite part of the renovated school is the added element of comfort.

“Well, believe it or not, my favorite part is the mechanical part and that everybody now has air conditioning [and] comfort control. Kids can [now] learn under a really nice climate...” he said.

Alumni also noted that while Liberty is now a modern school, it still kept the charm of an old school. Many still felt that they were in the same school they had attended prior to the renovations.

“It’s redone but it’s still the old Liberty. I like that,” said Harold Erney, ‘61.

For other Liberty alumni, the rededication brought back memories of their years in high school.

“Being able to walk through the halls [of LHS] brings back a lot of good times,” said Muschiltz.

Other alumni, reiterate this sentiment through their shared memories of the past.

Mary Erney, ‘62, fondly remembered her Volkswagen bug being driven down the hallway as a prank. Karen and Paul Scheltzer, ‘59 and ‘61, met at Liberty and now come to events to support their grandchildren who are members of the Grenadier Band.

“It was wonderful that we honored the history and legacy of Liberty High School in the way we did.”
-Kevin Peterman, ‘11

Despite celebrating the end of the construction and renovations, the Rededication Ceremony also celebrated memories and LHS’s impact on the community.

“It is hard to quantify the impact LHS has had on the community as a whole because it is such a pride,” said John Callahan, current mayor of Bethlehem, and a LHS graduate, who reportedly “gained much of his leadership skills” as class president during his time as a LHS student.

As Kreglow proclaimed during the ceremony, “We are here today to rededicate Liberty High School following its extensive renovation, yet today is not about celebrating fresh paint, flooring, drywall, and new equipment. It is about celebrating the renewal of the facility which fosters a unique culture and spirit.”

Rededication images
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