Imre and Janet Szilagyi Center
for the Performing
and Visual Arts
After five years of planning,
negotiating, scheming, hoping, and praying we finally wore down
Imre and Janet to the point that they just gave us the building
to get us out of their hair.
They gave us permission to
use the old gymnasium/auditorium to stage many of the events
over the year to celebrate the150th birthday of Rowlesburg.
Needless to say, Imre and Janet
were thrilled to recognize the cultural advantages the old school
can offer to the Town of Rowlesburg. Cristina Nassif's beauty
and magnificent voice stole Imre's heart away.
In November, 2008, they called
a meeting to announce that they will donate the old school to
RRC, Inc. The only requirement is that we name the building after
Rowlesburg High School
- The school, built in 1910
served grades one through twelve and graduated 74 classes over
those seventy six years. The building contains 25,000 sq. ft.
of space and includes a gymnasium/ auditorium complete with a
stage for the performing arts.
In October of 2005, a historic
district designation was awarded to the town of Rowlesburg by
the state of West Virginia and the National Register of Historic
Places awarded the designation in November, 2005. The Rowlesburg
school is located in the district and conforms to the criteria
established for historic designation, therefore, any renovations
or repairs to the building will be done in keeping with its historic
design and will maintain its historic integrity.
The Gothic Collegiate Revival
architecture with its pointed arches that grace the front entry
and some windows has been , in most cases, preserved; original
maple hardwood floors are in excellent condition; hand-crafted
ornate mouldings around doors and windows have been maintained;
and the gym/auditorium with handsome wood dentil moulding surrounding
the raised stage remains as a grand hall for even the most sophisticated
functions. Thus, a visit to the Welcome Center will provide the
visitor with an enhanced appreciation for the cultural and historic
value of the building.
- How good was your schooling
- The teachers were excellent
and took special interest in the future success of their students.
- In addition to "readin',
writin', and 'rithmatic", we were given a well rounded education
which included music, art, literature, drama, home economics,
civics, PE, and most major sports. In the '50's:
- We learned classical, broadway,
folk, and contemporary music from Miss Schrock, Mrs. Ayersman,
and Mr. Michael.
- Mrs. Jamison and Miss Wolfe introduced us to Shakespeare (Macbeth),
Henry W. Longfellow (Evangeline), Edgar Allen Poe (Annabel Lee,
The Raven), Washington Irving (Headless Horseman), Sir Walter
Scott (Ivanhoe), Joyce Kilmer (Trees), Robert Frost (The Road
Not Taken), Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass), Robert Burns (Auld
Lang Syne, My Heart's In The Highlands), John Keats (Ode on a
Grecian Urn), Nathaniel Hawthorn (House of Seven Gables), Emily
Brontë (Wuthering Heights), Mark Twain (Huckleberry Finn),
James Fennimore Cooper (Last of the Mohicans),etc. And, of course,
Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys. I have to stop this - the list
goes on and on!!!
- Algebra and Geometry (Arrgghh)
were taught by Mr. Goodwin, who was a friend to his students.
- Mr. Galusky dutifully and effectively taught Biology
and Chemistry; Mrs. Galusky was a class act who taught
us cooking and sewing, as well as table settings, etiquette,
- History and geography were
the realm of Miss Carrico.
- And, of course, there was
the legendary Coach Ayersman who made men out of little
- Mr. Lipscomb made us tow the line or he reported
us to our parents who sided with him and the teachers.
- Then Mr. George Dewitt
taught us everything else.
EVENTS IN THE SZILAGYI CENTER/2010
- On May 1st, the Civil War
Reenactment of the Battle of Rowlesburg.
- River City Festival on Memorial
Day Weekend is always a smashing success with a parade, a play,
barbershop quartet, magician, poetry, original Rowlesburg piano
composition, and capped off by the outstanding voice of soprano
Cristina Nassif singing arias from favorite operas.
- Next, on June 19-20, Living
History Weekend sponsored by Jef and Maggie of the Greatest Generation.
A World War II Reenactment and dancing to the Big Band era music
of Maestros of Swing are the main features. This weekend has
been very popular for 4 years.
- Labor Day Weekend Festival on July 2, 3, 4, & 5 featuring the famous Ox Roast.
- The Annual Chestnut Festival,
honoring the great American Chestnut Tree will be held on October
acquisition of the school has tremendous benefit to the entire
community of Rowlesburg. Throughout its history, the school served
as the center of community life bringing together parents, grandparents,
friends and students to attend and participate in athletic events,
band concerts, theater performances, proms and dances, dinners
and alumni functions.
- As a bonus, opening the
school to the people brings together all segments of the community
into one community center and the old school once again, is the
hub of activity for young and old.