NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) -- Final goodbyes were said on Friday after the Diocese of Norwich decided to shut down a local New London school.
The decision was made to close the St. Mary Star of the Sea school because of financial struggles. The result is sadness among good friends and family.
"Having good teachers and having your friends here [made this school so special], especially cause we have little kid buddies and it's kind of hard to leave them," said Rosa Shea, a seventh grader from the school.
Parents say they weren't given enough notice to try to save the school or to get their kids into nearby magnet schools. The Diocese offered to allow students to go to other schools in the diocese, but St. Joseph in New London filled up too fast for many of them.
"It's very hard, I mean I've been here for seven years with the kids working with them off and on," said Ethel Orlando, a second grade aide, "and it's hard to let them go."
The school which was about to celebrate its 120th anniversary is where generations of families had gone and where Joseph Ennis, a sixth grader, says they started a dual language program for kindergartners.
"It's just a shame that it closed because so many people have worked so hard on it," explained Ennis.
The memories of the school will certainly live among staff and students, but have also been included in a time capsule which includes letters from second grade students expressing what the school has meant to them, also some religious articles relevant to this time, and this year's yearbook.
The school holds its final graduation Friday night.