Each carried boxes or pushed carts loaded with tables, chairs and books for the new classrooms.
Superintendent Dr. Brett Belmarez traded his typical coat and tie for something more fitting for the occasion — a short sleeve shirt and jeans.
“We had our community move-in day for our new elementary school,” he said, catching his breath. “We just finished our last trailer ,and we are exhausted. But we are in this new elementary school.”
And this elementary is ready for students for the start of the new year as planned.
Construction crews, or deconstruction crews as they should likely be called, are working to tear down the old school before students return.
The new school, located at the north end of a 27.5-acre piece of property behind the district’s athletic stadiums, is built in a U-shape, with the front door facing east. Classroom windows let in natural light from the north and south.
One side of the “U” is classrooms for pre-kindergarten through second grade. The other houses third- through fifth-grade classrooms.
The base of the “U” is a main corridor where the administration offices, library, music room and cafeteria can be found.
The gym is entirely enclosed and on the south side of the building. It will be about 3,000 square feet.
On Tuesday afternoon, the gym was still littered with boxes, and the classrooms showed no semblance of order as volunteers brought in the boxes of school supplies and piled them in corners.
But, there is still plenty of time for the teachers to get things organized before the start of the new year.
Emilia Dominguez, principal at the new elementary, was all smiles as she too helped carry in boxes.
“It is a lot of work, but it will be worth it for kids and for our community.
“It is one of the best things that could have happened to us.”
Patty Holubec, former principal at the high school, even came back to help with the move.
“The spirit of S-TISD shown brightly in this collaborative effort of many hands, strong arms and backs, giving hearts, and problem-solving heads working together for kids.
“Special thanks was given to Mr. Brad Hennig for his surprise donation of the use of the 18-wheeler flatbed trailer.
“Appreciation is also extended to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Region IV Director Eileen Kennedy, Warden E. Guterrez, Warden N. Jackson and Community Squad Officer James Dunn for their support of the move to the new elementary school. The TDCJ Community Squad spent three days moving furniture, packed boxes, and other instructional items to the new elementary campus,” she said.
Belmarez also offered his thanks to everyone who volunteered their time.
“It ended up coming together just like we do with pride in Skidmore-Tynan Bobcat country.”
Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 121, or at editor@mySouTex.com.