NEW VIENNA, Iowa - After nearly a century, St. Boniface Catholic School in New Vienna is now a pile of rubble. Demolition workers tore down the abandoned building Wednesday. A sharp drop in enrollment forced the Dubuque County school to close and merge with the Catholic elementary school in nearby Petersburg.
As each brick of St. Boniface School came crumbling down, anecdotes were abound.
"I went to school here all 12 years, and I lived here all my life," Ron Boeckenstedt, St. Boniface class of 1966 member, said.
Dozens stopped to take pictures and capture video of the demolition.
Others just stopped to watch and share memories, remembering the eagerness of early elementary school.
"I'm thinking about what went on in each classroom or where the library was and you know where our classrooms were," Boeckenstedt said.
Others recalled their mischievous middle school years.
"I can remember a few things that went on in here, but some of them I wouldn't want to talk about, " Dale Menke said.
Menke serves on the St. Boniface Church Council. He says crews salvaged as much of the building as they could.
"We don't really know what we're going to do with the brick, but that brick will be showing up in projects here and there," he said.
For some, the bricks are a momento, born from something that seems so final.
"I guess it's just life. Things come to an end. All good things, they come to an end," Boeckenstedt said.