Cave Spring High School renovations bring alumni together to reminisce

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Coming from near and far, dozens of alumni traveled to Cave Spring High School this weekend to reminisce as they admired the recent renovations.

But there were some nostalgic mementos still lingering at the campus.

Last year, the ribbon-cutting for the $43 million renovations was put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic. But on Saturday, alumni were able to take pictures in the remodeled school that once played a role in their lives.

“It really means a lot to me because my mother was a physical education teacher here and I was a gymnast,” Pam Palmer, a graduate from the Class of 1975, said.

Roanoke County School Board Cave Spring District Member Mike Wray was a part of the first graduating class back in 1968 and remembers the sunken library.

“If we had a lot of rain that library would just flood because that water would just come right under the doors and come right in,” he said.

But now, the library is upgraded and safe.

With new seats in the auditorium and a modern gym, the former high school Principal Steve Spangler said the old photos and trophies in the hallway add a touch of nostalgia.

“The alum when they come in will feel like they’re still at home,” Spangler said. “And that’s the main thing that folks when they come in they see what they went through in the past.”

In the courtyard, a 21-year-old time capsule waited to be uncovered. Inside the capsule, students found newspapers, photo albums and even some classics like VHS tapes and floppy disks.

But nothing beats the message Emily Duffin, a graduate from the Class of 2000, wrote as a teenager about hopes she had for her future.

Back then, Duffin’s maiden name was Waters. She predicted she would “happily marry with two children” and become a nutritionist who still lives in Virginia.

Duffin now has two boys and currently lives in Texas but travels because of her husband’s involvement in the military.

In two weeks, the school will reopen for a class reunion tour for the Classes of 1969 and 1971.

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