KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A pillar of the Lonsdale Community celebrated its centennial Monday. Sam E. Hill Primary is 100 years old.
The school was founded in 1919 and moved into its current building in 1951.
"The halls are full of history," said Principal Wendy Laman. "The school holds a special place in the hearts of many throughout this community."
During segregation, Sam E. Hill was an elementary school for African-American students but a lot has changed since then. Over the years, Sam E. Hill Primary has welcomed many students from West Africa, Mexico, and Central America.
"Just to show you how diverse this school has become, 13 different languages are spoken by students," Laman said.
This celebration comes as both the school and community are expanding.
The Emerald Youth Foundation is building a community center that's adjacent to the school. The future 30,000 square foot facility will have a learning center, an assembly space, and two synthetic-turf fields for outdoor sports.
To mark this anniversary, current students, alumni and staff are opening their doors to the community.
The school is holding a luncheon Monday at noon for alumni and neighbors.
Also, currents students will sport some new gear. They'll receive new commemorative t-shirts thanks to the Lonsdale Union of Churches and the Great Schools Partnership.