Students, teachers are parents are saying an emotional goodbye to St. Brendan Elementary School in east Edmonton this week.

The school is closing its doors for good this week to make way for a new K-9 school planned to be completed in 2016.

Until then, all current St. Brendan students will be transferred to St. James school, located about four kilometres away. They will be given free bus service to the more distant school until construction is complete on the new building in their neighbourhood.

For Ethan Keys, a Grade 5 student, saying goodbye forever was a sad event.

"This school was open for a very long time, and then it has history here. My parents use to go here, but now it's kind of sad."

Other students said they were worried about having to make new friends when they change schools in the fall.

It was also an emotional day for parents and teachers at the school.

"Working with the children is my fondest memory," said retired secretary Emma Schmalfuss, who worked at the school for 26 years.

"When I came walking up the stairs I thought about how many years I came through those front doors."

Parent Sherry Stewart said the decision to close the school was upsetting, but not unexpected.

"At first everybody was kind of upset and there was a lot of question of ‘why not just keep this school?’ but everybody kind of understands you can't run a school effectively with not enough kids."

St. Brendan is one of three schools the Catholic School District decided to close down.

It was originally slated to remain open until the new school opened its doors, but last month the district announced it would be shut down immediately following the end of classes this year.