Saving old Denison High School

By: Nicole Holt Email
By: Nicole Holt Email

DENISON, Tex. -- Demolition has been postponed of the old Denison High School on Main Street in downtown Denison after a protest Thursday morning in front of the school concluded with a Denison man putting up his own money to save the building.

Buying time is a phrase we hear often, but it's taking on a whole new meaning as Denison resident Joe Pollaro paid the city to postpone the demolition of the old Denison High School.

It started out Thursday morning as a heated exchange over whether part two of the demolition process would take place. That's when Joe Pollaro and other concerned Denison residents came out to protest.

Pollaro worked out an agreement with the city in which he will have to pay a total of $10,000 in cash to the city for contracting fees, and he has until August 10th to devise a new plan for the city to restore the old Denison building.

Pollaro says that plan “…will tell us what we need to do step by step to see what we need to do and actually something to save the school."

Pollaro met with Denison mayor Robert Brady and city attorney Tom Aikens who have set benchmarks for Pollaro.

The demolition of the school had been an ongoing story for much of the year, and an online petition was recently started in a last-ditch effort to save part of the school.


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  • by G.O. Location: Denison on Dec 27, 2007 at 08:07 AM
    Retailers are not interested in restoring money pits like the old high school and they are certainly not interested in going into an area of town with no real foot traffic. Face it “artists” you don’t have the attraction power to bring any real money makers downtown. You are trying to convince the public you are irreplaceable, but that is not the case. How many artists have moved to the area and then left because no one wants to buy your offensive overpriced art? How many buildings are currently for sale by the “money generating artists?” Where are your big bucks to save the building (or downtown for that matter)? I have to admit I welcomed the thought of having more artists downtown, but you have brought nothing to the area but turmoil and angst. Please put your building up for sale and go somewhere else so we can bring in some real sales tax generators to downtown. You have done nothing but waste our time and resources! Oh, and take your brainwashed, drugged out friends with you too!
  • by Jerry Location: Mckinney on Aug 5, 2007 at 06:43 PM
    The bldg has been left to rot for years to a point where it will cost milloions to fix and thousands to maintain. No one cared before why now. Just so they get that good feeling. Let it go. It is a rat trap and an eye sore. Mckinney spent millions to fix up its Courthouse and it still looks like a dump inside. Lesson learned. Millions will not fix a dump today only 10s of millions of tax payor money.
  • by Michael Location: Mesquite, Texas on Jul 31, 2007 at 04:24 PM
    I was born and raised in Denison back in the 40's and 50's. Denison has never had much to offer, because the city fathers have never had a vision for the city to thrive and have a place of importance in the state. Denison has always survived in the shadow of thriving Sherman. Restoration of the old High School is a typical example of another missed opportunity for Denison. This is a beautiful building in the raw, and every opportunity should be taken taken to restore it. It could be the showplace of Grayson County, if everything is handled with forethought. It's time Denison found a place on the map. Eisenhower's Birthplace hasn't gotten it there, neither has a re-designed Main Street. This may be the last chance for us to have a real landmark in this community. The first free public seconday school in the state of Texas could put it on the map, if the city fathers wake up in time.
  • by Taxpayer Location: Denison on Jul 31, 2007 at 08:01 AM
    It is too late to save this ugly eyesore. The last 20 years of neglect and abuse have gutted the building. The exterior is all that really remains. The big questions are: Where does the 8 million come from, is this the best use of this money, and who maintains this property so it doesn't end up being neglected again? Many of those trying to stop progress don't live in Denison nor pay one cent of taxes to the city. They have chosen to leave Denison or move outside the city limits. Some are very wealthy and they have not put their money where their mouths are. They want to save the building but they want someone else to pay for it. They don't care about property taxes because they live outside the city limits. The great majority of Denison residents that have looked at this eyesore for 20 years want progress. It is sad that this has to happen, but it makes no economical sense to do anything else. Denison needs to move forward and clean up the downtown area.
  • by Denison taxpayer Location: Denison on Jul 31, 2007 at 07:34 AM
    Denison has the largest bunch of village idiots in the USA. They should drug test anyone that thinks this eyesore is beautiful and send them to stay with Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan.
  • by Gary Location: Denison on Jul 30, 2007 at 03:12 PM
    This isn't so much about history or heritage, but the future. Downtown Denison CAN be the vibrant business section it once was before air-conditioned malls drew the retail outlets away. Those malls now are on their last legs, thanks to rising energy costs, and shoppers are venturing outside once again at new "downtown" type complexes such as Town Center. Denison now has an historic opportunity to once again draw national chain stores to the downtown area and create the most unique shopping mall in the country. BUT, that needs a focal point and a drawing card. With creative thinking, those can be supplied by the school building and the depot. For instance, one could serve as an arts gallery and the other as a food court for the new downtown mall. But, in order to serve as ANYTHING, they must first be preserved and all the actors in this drama must work together.
  • by Jeff Location: Denison on Jul 27, 2007 at 05:55 PM
    Gee,Linda ,thanks for your brilliant insight. Its really helpful to start personal jabs and name calling.Just another reminder of how hateful people can be for no reason.Call Walgreens. Find out there is no offer.Then stick your head back in the sand and shut up.We all realize that we have to raise the money ourselves.If we are lucky maybe someday someone could live there,unfortunately it is not nearly big enough to hold its supporters. P.S. Walgreens phone number is 972-556-0703.
  • by Linda Location: Denison on Jul 27, 2007 at 04:23 PM
    Well, well, here we are... do we save an old building that was NOT the first public school, or do we build on the property that was the first sight. The property will remain, with or without the building. Do you realize we just had a flood and many ,many people lost everything.As for Mr. Pallero, has he tried to help any of these people? $10,000 would have gone a long way. I think he wanted to be seen and heard. Maybe he should talk to someone that really cares where he is All the time. Could that be the p.b....As for Mr & Mrs. Morrison, that is a real dishonor that the people they educated did not care enough to be at either funeral. If these people truly want the school to stand, let them put up the money that Walgreens offered and then they can do what they want with it. They can even live there with each other. Wouldn't that be special? Then it could go from school to mental hospital.
  • by Jeff Location: Denison on Jul 27, 2007 at 04:20 PM
    I absolutely dont think a library is needed but,our city council insist that is what we need. It is not going to have "private business" that is the covenent the city made with DHI.The land is to remain in public use. The question is 5 million bond election for library in the school building or 10 million to build new library. Otherwise what we have is another vacant lot. Although it will be for public use.All of the resources are not tax payer dollars so at this point anyone opposing trying to save the school is only doing so because they just like to argue.
  • by K Location: Denison on Jul 27, 2007 at 03:34 PM
    Jeff, I would like to know what I am uninformed about. Have fun looking silly at a candlelight vigil for a building. I promise I have seen and appreciate history more than most, but this building is beyond repair. DHI had 20 years to do something and find funding, and it got us nowhere. Haven't had any takers have we? folks who want a library think of this. Libraries across nation are being used less b/c of the internet. Also, our current library was built when our population was at its highest. So we have managed to drive away people and not develop any growth so that means a library fit for 25,000 is not big enough for a town of 21,500? We need a private business there to stir foot traffic down town. A Walgreens would be like Barrett's in its prime. Or loft apartments with restaurants and offices below.Otherwise, I will see you all out shopping and eating by the highway when the official death blow to downtown is dealt. Keep wasting resources on this dead horse, I mean building.
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