Tuesday, October 3, 2023

WJCC Schools Seek Help Finding Time Capsules at James Blair

James Blair administrative offices
James Blair administrative offices

The Williamsburg-James City County School Division is seeking the public’s help locating time capsules buried on the grounds of the former James Blair Middle School before it is demolished this summer.

Alan Robertson, facilities manager for WJCC Schools, said he has heard from many alumni who believe time capsules are buried at the school – it served as a high school, junior high school and a middle school its 56 years of operation – but “almost no one” knows where they are or what they look like.

One former student told him a time capsule may be under the cement near the flag pole at the entrance, Robertson said. That area of the campus can be searched in the summer when the entrance to the administrative offices is relocated, he said.

The former school’s main building is slated for demolition this summer to make way for the fourth middle school.

Robertson said the school division wants to do everything possible to avoid damaging time capsules during the demolition by locating them now.

“If they are there, we would like to find them because it shows the school’s history, and James Blair has a history,” Robertson said. “It would be fun to have [the time capsule contents] in a safe, secure place so students can see [them] when they come through the building.”

Architects have incorporated a display case in the design of the new school’s lobby for artifacts from the former school.

Individuals with information as to where time capsules are located can email Robertson at alan.robertson@wjccschools.org or Betsy Overkamp-Smith, director of public relations and engagement for WJCC Schools, at mari.overkamp-smith@wjccschools.org.

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