Building memories

It’s where SC4’s administration, the “Erie Square Gazette” and several clubs call home. Odds are you’ve had at least one class there.

Those seeking a brief rundown of the history of SC4’s main building merely need to look at the sign outside. The building began as a high school in Port Huron where two high schools previously stood. After a change in population requirements by the Michigan Board of Education, the building officially became home to Port Huron Junior College.

In 1967, the college was re-christened St. Clair County Community College, no longer operating under the Port Huron school district.

This may seem like ancient history to some, but for two members of the SC4 community, it has been their life.

Professor emeritus Bob Tansky, now a member of SC4’s board of trustees, and Professor emeritus Tom Obee, have both been with the college since its days as Port Huron Junior College.

Tansky said he has been at St. Clair County Community College since about 1966.

Main Building Photo Dan Pettee

Main Building Photo Dan Pettee


The main building was at that time one of two buildings that the college had, for all practical purposes,” said Tansky. “When I was being interviewed for the teaching job, the wrecking crew was taking down the St. Stevens Church, which was pretty emotional.”

I taught in the main building all but a couple years in the early 80’s, when they were doing some remodeling. Other than that, the main building was ‘home,’” said Tansky.

Obee began as a student in 1961, and then went to University of Michigan for a bachelor’s degree and University of Wisconsin for a master’s. In 1967 he returned.

Obee and Tansky said the Main Building remained relatively static until the early 1980’s, during which the building underwent major renovations.

Back at that time, we had the library in the main building,” said Tansky. “We had the cafeteria, lots of classrooms, and the administration. They used to have a coal bin to heat the building.”

During the renovations, several major changes occurred on campus, including the library being moved “book by book” to the CEM building, according to Tansky.

I remember them putting the elevator on the outside of the building so that we met the requirements for disabilities,” said Tansky. “Prior to that time, we had to schedule classes on the first floor [for disabled students]. The elevator was a welcome change.”

Underneath the carpets of the main building, Obee said, are wooden floors which were “squeaky,” with “beautiful ceilings” just above the tiles.

Obee said he was impressed by how “modern” the inside of the school looked after the renovation, “but we lost the elegance of the cornices and a lot of the stuff that’s up there.”

Brian Johnston

Copy editor

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