GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (GRPS) -- Hundreds of scholars, staff, alumni, and community members attended farewell celebrations at both East Leonard and Stocking elementary schools as the buildings close following decades of learning.

The celebrations were an opportunity for those who have been impacted by the learning institutions to come together and share memories and look forward to what's next as the work to "Reimagine GRPS with Us!" continues.

"This is part of what makes Grand Rapids special," said Superintendent Dr. Leadriane Roby. "Scholars, staff, alumni, and neighbors are all here to spend time as community."

During the celebration on Tuesday at Stocking Elementary GRPS choir teachers performed 'America the Beautiful,' the same song that was performed at the school's opening on Feb. 1, 1924.

"Our doors are closing, but the spirit of learning, community, and love continues," Stocking Elementary Principal Michael Thomasma told those who attended. "Thank you for being part of our community."

During the celebration on Wednesday at East Leonard Elementary, a time capsule was opened from when the school opened in 1957.

Inside were 1957 editions of the Grand Rapids Press and Grand Rapids Herald. There were also classroom pictures of all the students from the opening year at East Leonard. The items will be sent to the Grand Rapids City Archives.

"A lot has changed since 1957, but what has not changed is the pride and sense of community felt in this building," East Leonard Principal Nanette Hersberger said. "East Leonard has grown so many bright minds. I was blessed to walk alongside so many this school year and I’m grateful to see and meet so many of you today."

As East Leonard Elementary closes, most scholars will transition to nearby Kent Hills Elementary or Coit Creative Arts Academy. Most Stocking Elementary scholars will transition to nearby Sibley Elementary or Harrison Park Academy.

The building consolidations are part of the Reimagine GRPS Facility Plan that is devoted to bringing more scholars and staff together to direct district resources into classrooms instead of maintaining empty spaces.

The plan also calls for $305 million to be invested in schools across Grand Rapids, creating 21st-century learning spaces and new programming opportunities.

You can read more about Reimagine GRPS here.