The first day for students at MNE was Valentine’s Day 1979. They started at Men-Riv having split classes because the building was not ready in August. The Men-Riv students went in the morning, and the Marrington students went in the afternoon. After they moved into the new building, they went a full day. There were 11 first grade classes that first year, and it was a kindergarten through 5th grade school. On the first teacher workday after they moved into the new building, an alligator was found up against a side entrance. DNR had to remove the gator before the teachers could go into the building. Another year, there was also an alligator that was found walking through the halls. The teachers had propped the outside doors open to let the students come into the building that morning, and the first students coming down the hall saw it. They screamed, and the teachers came running. DNR had to come and get him out of the hall. Later that day the students wrote stories about “The Day the Alligator Came to School.”
The second year, the school was so large that the 5th grade was moved to Marrington Middle where it remained until 2007.
In 1989 Hurricane Hugo came through, and Marrington Elementary was used as a shelter. The Navy brought in food, and the cafeteria was used for cooking. The first grade Pod was for the women and children, and the men slept in another Pod. After the hurricane there was so much damage, a lot of families left the area. Many classes went down from 21 students to only 11, and the Navy used an empty room for their legal aid department. They also used a classroom as their medical clinic.
In 1994, the sprinkler heads burst over the weekend, and on Monday morning the teachers discovered the library was so flooded that ankle-deep waves were lapping in the halls. Volunteers were called in to help with the clean up. The carpet had to be replaced as well as some furniture. Almost all of the books had to be dried by hand.
In 1998 there was an earthquake on the first day of school. Students and teachers had to get under their desks and remain there for about 40 minutes before they could come out. The teachers did not even know their students’ names yet.
When the attack on the Twin Towers in New York City occurred on September 11, 2001, the school was closed for several days. The base was on lockdown for much longer, and it took the faculty and staff about one and a half hours every morning to get through security just to get to school.
There are many time capsules buried all over the school grounds as well as one time capsule encased in the wall in room 403. As far as we know, none have ever been dug up.