Barry Crust and the Brick of Remembrance

Former teacher sells bricks of old Hudtloff Middle school foundation for fundraiser

By Allan Conley on May 2, 2013

For most people, there are four stages of school: elementary, junior high (middle school), high school and college. Each stage can and usually brings drastic changes to a student's lifestyle and educational setting. Now, a drastic change comes to a specific junior high school - Hudtloff Middle School.

In the fall of 2012, construction of a new Hudtloff building began shortly after the demolition of the older foundation. Since then, retired teacher and former alumni Barry Crust has started the Brick of Remembrance fundraiser. After requesting 500 bricks from the previous infrastructure, Crust has proceeded to clean, engrave and sell the bricks.

"The Hudtloff ‘Brick of Remembrance' fundraiser came about when I began assisting in the planning of my 50th high school reunion from Clover Park High School, which will take place in August 2013," said Crust. "The significance here is that my high school class of 1963 was the first class to enter the new Hudtloff, which was opening in 1957.  I thought it would be unique to secure old brick from the soon to be demolished Hudtloff and sell them as a fundraiser at the reunion as part of our celebration."

After graduating from college, Barry went on to have an extensive career in teaching and coaching at the school starting from 1967 until retiring from teaching in 1997. Barry continued to coach at Hudtloff until 2010 after retiring completely.

"From the very beginning, it was my intent to use the funds generated by this fundraiser to purchase ‘something unique and artsy' for the new school that would depict the heritage of this great school," said Barry. "However, the use of the funds would not be solely my decision. A committee made up of alumni, staff, and community would decide the final use of funds with, of course, my input." Being both Hudtloff alumni and former staff, Barry has had the special privilege of watching the school grow and change during his lengthy tenure. "Since Hudtloff went from a junior high to a middle school in 1995 and the mascot was changed from the Indians to the Hurricanes, I envisioned a commissioned piece of interior or exterior art that would embody this transformation and the history of Hudtloff 1957 to 2012."

The bricks being sold to generate the funds, after having been cleaned, are fitted with commemorative plaques with the words: "Brick of Remembrance" engraved on its face. Each brick is being sold at $20 dollars. Checks should be made out to Hudtloff PTSA which is a 501(c3) non-profit.

"It was always my wish to return to Hudtloff as a teacher and in 1967 my wish came true. This opportunity to run this fundraiser gives me a chance to give back to the place that I have spent the majority of my life," said Barry. "I feel truly blessed to have this very unique opportunity to solidify memories of the Hudtloff past with the future of a beautiful new Hudtloff." For alumni or readers interested in buying a brick to help aid the fundraiser or wanting to remember the old building can contact Barry Crust at 253.273.0953 or