90 years. Thousands of students. Scores of memories.

EVART — In 1923, 90 years ago, Time Magazine published its first issue, Albert Einstein and Harry Houdini were making history, The Walt Disney Company was founded and prohibition was still in effect. It was also the year the building known now as Evart Middle School opened its doors at 321 N. Oak St.

“There’s a lot of memories built into this building,” said principal Jason O’Dell. “There are probably as many memories as there are bricks.”

The building first hosted elementary, middle and high school students until 1966 as Evart Community School changed to a 6-12 school. Since 1997 it has been a middle school, O’Dell said. The school’s first wing was built in 1957 with the other following, and added a cafeteria, band room, three classrooms, a library and a media center. There are still areas in the building where individuals can see the original floor and skylights.

Beverly Stevens moved to Evart in 1939 and graduated from Evart Community School in 1944. She remembers her years in the building clearly, with her high school classes on the third floor, working in the kitchen, students planting trees on the grounds during World War II and watching football games in the square in front of the school.

After graduation, she attended Western Michigan University and Central Michigan University and became qualified as a country school teacher. Her first jobs were teaching in Marion and Hersey, but she returned to Evart to teach seventh grade, finishing her degree 10 years later.

“I loved the seventh grade kids because they were so eager to learn,” said Stevens, who taught spelling, penmanship, math and world geography through the years. “I have great memories of them and I learned so much more teaching than in college classes.”

She is proud to have played a large role at the 90-year-old school, noting she shared that role with other faculty and staff members of the time.

Because of the 90-year milestone, EPS is hosting a birthday bash from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5 at the middle school building, in conjunction with homecoming festivities. The event will feature tours of the middle school, games, live entertainment, cake and ice cream, displays of yearbooks and sports trophies, inflatables for children, face painting and a chance to purchase Wildcat gear.

Osceola County Commissioner Alan Tiedt graduated from the school in 1958 following the graduation of his mother in 1931 and preceding the graduation of his two sons. He played football, basketball, baseball and participated in track during his high school years.

“We had very good teachers and a good education,” Tiedt said. “I think celebrating how long the building has been in use is good for the community and is a good representation about how the community feels about it.”

O’Dell himself graduated as a high school senior from the building in 1991 and loves to see his former teachers and classmates around town. His excitement for the birthday bash is rising and believes the structure should be treasured as a focal point for the community.

“For me, the celebration is extra special, because it’s my school,” O’Dell said. “I want to do the same justice to the school as the people before me. I have a lot of pride for keeping up this building.”