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Relocating a piece of New Richmond Middle School history

The old middle school time capsule, which was sealed in the school’s 1988 cornerstone, is pictured next to the current middle school’s time capsule, which was dedicated and sealed in 2011. (Photo by Jordan Willi)

New Richmond Middle School

When an addition was tacked on to the old New Richmond Middle School in 1988 — which included the gym, cafeteria, band room and tech-education rooms — the administration at the time decided it wanted to put together a time capsule to commemorate the occasion and preserve the building's history.

A dedication for the new additions to the school was held Sunday, Oct. 23. Following the dedication, the time capsule was placed behind the 1988 cornerstone at the front of the building and was not to be opened until 2088.

However, with the razing of the old middle school scheduled to take place starting Feb. 27, the administration thought it would be best to remove the cornerstone and the time capsule in order to preserve the history of the school and honor the 2088 reopening date set back in 1988.

"There are a couple different options we are looking at for relocating the time capsule," said middle school Principal Doug Hatch. "We have a time capsule that we put together when we opened as the middle school back in 2011, but using that location will depend on whether the old time capsule can fit in the same location as our other one. That would be the ideal place to put it because when I'm gone, years from now, they will both be easy to find for whoever is here."

According to Hatch, after much deliberation, the 1988 time capsule will be buried in front of the current middle school sometime this spring or summer. Hatch also said that the cornerstone that the capsule was hidden behind at the old middle school will most likely be used as a marker on top of the capsule to make its place.

"We weren't 100 percent sure what we are going to do with the cornerstone, since it is not a part of (the current middle school), but it is still part of our history," Hatch said. "We weren't sure what the timeline for the 1988 time capsule was since there was no markings on the capsule to let us know when it was supposed to be opened. The only staff member who is still here from the time when the capsule was put in at the old middle school is Mr. Saliny. He remembers the time capsule being put together, but does not remember the specifics."

Items in the 1988 time capsule, according to the table of contents and a New Richmond News article from the time of the dedication, included:

• A videotape of the students, faculty, aides, custodians and cooks doing the things they do very well

• A detention slip

• A copy of the New Richmond News

• A tape of the top songs of the week in October 1988

• A grocery bill from Cub Foods

• The eighth-grade predictions for the year 2088.

• A school yearbook

• A copy of the May issue of the Middle School Journal

• A copy of the "Middle School Remodelling Song" written by Kay Murray and performed for the teachers assistants at Christmas time

• A TIME magazine

• The "Children's News" supplement of the New Richmond News

• A copy of the Tiger Paw, the school newspaper

"The interesting thing about the 1988 time capsule is that they put the California Raisins set that used to be in a happy meal from Hardee's, which was kind of a collectors item back then," Hatch said. "We didn't put anything like that in our capsule...We just put things in there that were items that we wanted to pass along to themselves 50 years from now to say 'Oh yea, this is the way it was back then.'"

Hatch said the 2011 time capsule included many of the same items as the 1988 capsule, but all of their documents were put on flash drives, which meant they could fit more information in a smaller space than the old middle school's capsule.

"What we did to put together the items for the time capsule was, we as a staff, generated ideas of what we thought should be in the capsule and then asked the students about items that they felt were important," Hatch said. "We surveyed the students and asked them things like do we put a copy of the New Richmond News in, do we put a copy of TIME magazine in, do we put items that are important to us in 2011 that will be important 50 years from now."

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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