Past and present Knapp Elementary students and their families are invited to a farewell party May 20 for the 105-year-old building before it’s demolished this summer.

A new $14 million Knapp Community School is under construction next door, and it will open in time for the 2016-2017 school year. The original Knapp is slated to come down this summer to make way for a playground and green space.

Funds for the new school come from the $128 million referendum voters approved in Nov. 2014. Racine Unified officials said that upgrading the original, 20th century Knapp for 21st century education – plus all the maintenance and repairs – would have proven more expensive than building a new school.

District spokesperson Stacy Tapp told The Journal Times that a celebration would be planned for past and present Knapp families, and a Facebook event went up Sunday, though it is unclear if the district is organizing it.

Still, just a few hours after the post went live, nearly 100 people confirmed their attendance.

“It’s the end of an era and the demolition of the original Knapp (built in 1911) is fast-approaching. Join us to take one last farewell tour at Knapp Elementary,” the invitation reads.

Organizers are asking for old photos to be emailed to gknapp@gmail.com. Photos taken at the event will have the hashtags #lastglanceatknapp and #knappfarewelltour.

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