Sixth graders tour city properties in downtown Perry Friday

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Perry Middle School sixth graders left the multipurpose room of the Perry High School, where they have been learning since the start of the PMS asbestos abatement and renovations, and toured several city properties downtown Friday.


Friday brought fresh adventures for the Perry Middle School sixth graders as their field trips took them to several public properties in downtown Perry.

The bronze figure of a sitting George Soumas presides over the Soumas Court, and the sixth graders learned a few details about the life of the former Perry magistrate judge, mayor and the leading advocate of the Iowa Highway 141 four-lane bypass.

From Soumas Court the students passed through Atelier at 1109, where featured artist Jenny Eklund of Art and Soul Studios explained the drip-art pieces of Wyatt Whelchel of Our Town Art and his successful social media marketing.

On the way to the Carnegie Library Museum, where Perry Public Library Director Mary Murphy led the tour, the students’ attention was drawn to the old First National Bank clock and the boulevard sculptures along Willis Avenue.

Students also toured the Barry Kemp room in the Hotel Pattee. Kemp was the son of Robert Kemp, who came to Perry in 1962 in order to help run the Iowa Pork Co., the ancestor of Tyson Fresh Meats. Barry Kemp graduated from Perry High School in 1967 and the University of Iowa in 1971 and went on to great success as the creator of such TV sit-com classics as “Newhart” and “Coach.”

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