Local Middle Schoolers Celebrate Historic Wheeling Landmarks

Students at Bridge Street Middle School have been working on a special project that celebrates Wheeling’s rich history. The “Wheeling Then and Now” project, organized by BSMS teachers Shawna Safreed and Justin Edwards, was designed with the goal of having her 7th-grade students find a new appreciation for their hometown. The project prompted students to research a historic building, landmark, monument, or other Wheeling locale and create a website and video that shows how it has evolved through time.

Shawna explained to her students that they are the future of Wheeling. That one day, they could grow up to become a local business owner, serve on city council, or even the mayor of our ever-changing city. Through the Wheeling Then and Now project, she hopes that students will find a new love for the Friendly City. 

Shawna Safreed, language arts teacher at Bridge Street Middle School.

Students worked in pairs to choose a historic landmark or specific area of Wheeling that they wanted to learn more about. They were then tasked with researching each landmark to learn of its significance and find photos that demonstrate its evolution through time. Students also were tasked with venturing into the community to take a photo of their landmark to show how it looks today.

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The project will culminate this Friday, Feb. 24 with a community reception from 12:15 – 1:30 p.m. at Bridge Street Middle School. The exhibit is open to the community, so if you’re interested in learning more about the history of Wheeling, this is a great opportunity to do so. Not only will you get to support the hard work of these students, but you will also have the chance to learn about the fascinating history of the buildings and places around town through the eyes of the next generation of change-makers.

The Wheeling Heritage Media team had the privilege of working with BSMS students to teach them the tricks of the trade in producing high-quality videos for this project. Check out our latest video for some behind-the-scenes footage of how this project came together! 

Dillon Richardson, digital content specialist for Wheeling Heritage, assisting BSMS students with the video production portion of the Wheeling Then and Now project.

• Alex Panas is the Program Manager for Wheeling Heritage, where she works with artists, small business owners, and community stakeholders to provide technical assistance and create meaningful programs that enhance Wheeling. She also serves as the managing editor for Weelunk. Alex lives in St. Clairsville with her husband where they raise four cats and four spunky backyard chickens.