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Demolition underway for abandoned Rule High School

For 64 years, the school was a place of learning for Knox County students.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Demolition has begun for Rule High School in Knoxville.

For 64 years, the school was a place of learning for Knox County students. 

The school closed in 1991 due to low enrollment numbers. The county took it over from Knox County School, and leaders took proposals for senior living facilities and other ideas for the old school.

It sat empty and deteriorated. Eventually, county leaders said the best option was to demolish Rule High School.

Each brick that comes down represents memories of former students.

"A lot of good memories. When I looked at the building, a lot of memories," said WBIR's own Eric Foxx, who graduated from Rule High School. "We all got together just like family."

Sarah Candie Sanders, a hairdresser in Nashville for more than 40 years, said she doesn't know where she would be without Rule High School.

"When people had problems at home, they became the parent that we didn't have, or they became that structure that we wasn't getting," she said.

They remember teachers who were tough but caring.

"My English teacher my senior year, first day in her class, she said, 'Y'all, you all are my college prep class. I'm going to be very hard on you. That's why we're going to write a paper tonight.' This is the first day of school," Foxx said.

They remember the manners.

"It was always, 'Yes, ma'am. No ma'am.' Never, 'Yeah. No,'" Sanders said.

Even in the 30 years since Rule High School graduated its last class, some parts still look ready for students, but others deteriorated, which is why Knox County is tearing the building down.

"They can tear down the school, but we still Rule," Foxx said.


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