Days after the final bell tolled, the yellow and green sign in front of Grace King High still bore a solemn message: “Last Day of School May 24.”
Inside the Metairie school, yearbooks, trophies and other memorabilia would be packed and taken to a warehouse for storage, until they are sold at auction. The halls were bare of the banners that once announced the home of the Fighting Irish, and the oil painting of the school’s namesake, a New Orleans writer of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, had been removed from its place in the library.
“You take it for granted while you’re there, and then you go around the world and you see fancy things and you realize you had it pretty good,” said Khan, valedictorian of the Class of 1994.
Last month, the Jefferson School Board approved a sweeping plan to close Grace King and five other schools, and relocate two others. Haynes Academy, a magnet school in Old Metairie, will shift into the Grace King building. Would-be Grace King students will be split between Bonnabel Magnet Academy High School in Kenner and Riverdale High in Old Jefferson.