CLEARFIELD -- It was a solemn moment for the crowd of teachers, parents and students of Wasatch Elementary School as they watched the claws of a large excavator tear into the front of their old school, ripping down walls and windows in seconds.
But it was time for a new school. Students and staff at Wasatch struggled with lack of technology and an inefficient heating and cooling system in Davis School District's oldest school, built in 1946.
"When the school was built, it didn't have the electrical capacity we use today, and there were no data lines to access for computer learning," Superintendent Bryan Bowles said. "Symbolically, it shows a change of era, since the way we do our schools is different today."
Principal Janet Sumner wasn't worried about being dainty when it was her turn to operate the demolition equipment, raising the arm high above the structure and crashing it down into the first-grade classrooms.
"I was worried that it would be sad, but it was actually fun doing it," Sumner said. Seeing a brand new school nearly finished just west of the old school made the demolition a little bit easier for her.
For Clearfield resident Melinda Rasband it was a day she thought would never happen. School officials were talking about tearing down the old school when her oldest child, now a junior in high school, was attending Wasatch Elementary.
"I didn't think it was ever going to happen, so I guess they're done teasing us now," said Rasband, who has two children who will be attending the new elementary school.
The demolition lasted only about 20 minutes, leaving a gaping hole at the entrance of the school, when the excavator made its way over to a large pine tree, where it was rumored a time capsule had been buried when the school first opened.
After several minutes of carefully reoving piles of dirt with no success, the excavator came to a halt and the construction crew moved inside the school to remove a boiler before demolition continued.
The tear-down of the old school is expected to take a few days, and then another couple of weeks to get the footings and foundations pulled out and everything hauled away.
The crew has only the summer to get the old school down, and a new parking lot put in, before school starts in September.
Davis School District doesn't see school demolitions too often, with only two other schools - Davis High and North Davis Junior High - having been torn down in the past 10 years.
Third-grade teacher Kristy Rogers won't miss the water that turned a dingy orange color from all the rust in the pipes.
"We won't have any more orange-juice water, our nickname for the water from the pipes that were so rotted," said Rogers.
She admitted she is sad to see the school go with all of the memories, but is looking forward to making new memories at the next school.
Sixth-grader Kylee Silcott, who has attended Wasatch Elementary since preschool, was trying hard to control her tears.
Kylee said, "It is really sad, because I've gone here for a long time, and I'm sad to know I am leaving behind good memories at that building."