Saga continues at old Denison High School

By: Daniel Gotera Email
By: Daniel Gotera Email

DENISON -- The fight to save the old Denison High School continues now with the help of money from Austin. The Texas Historical Commission has offered the city a chance to receive $50,000 to save the old building. The question is: Will the city accept that offer?

Old Denison High School was built in 1913, and 94 years later there are still a large number of residents wanting to keep it standing.

Now, their efforts have been boosted by the support of a state agency that is also intent on keeping the building upright.

"As far as the community is concerned it’s definitely an event that’s polarizing the community," said McClure.

Denison city councilman Jim McClure knows that saving old Denison High is important to many people. It’s just trying to find a way to accomplish that which is causing the commotion.

"The problem in my opinion is that the city is locked into a contract that if the city bails out on it would not be correct to ask the taxpayers to pay that," said McClure.

But finding the money to keep it up might not be so hard after all. On Friday afternoon, the Texas Historical Commission wrote a letter to Denison mayor Robert Brady offering the city a chance to apply for an emergency loan up to $50,000 in order to save the building.

Officials with the commission hope the mayor accepts the offer.

"The Main Street Program in Denison had been working with it for many years and even in the mid-‘90s we were looking at that building as an asset to the community, and that’s really the bottom line," said Terry Colley of the Texas Historical Commission.

It’s a bottom line which city officials agree with.

"Someone needs to occupy that building that generates activity in our downtown area for current businesses. That adds to businesses that come to visit," McClure said.

On Thursday, one citizen offered up $10,000 of his own money to halt the construction, but McClure says it will take a lot more to save the building.

Officials with the Texas Historical Commission is will do their best to help reach that goal.

"As long as the building is standing there is still hope, and the only thing we can do is to keep that building there until all options are thoroughly explored," said Colley.

City leaders are scheduled to discuss the matter during an executive city council meeting on Monday. Councilman Jim McClure says they'll look at all the factors in making their decision as what will be done with the building.

No word if Mayor Brady received the commission's letter. He couldn't be reached for comment on Friday.


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  • by Chris Location: Denison on Aug 4, 2007 at 03:28 PM
    $50,000 won't make a dent in the disrepair at the old school. Where was all this activity while the building slowly crumbled? It would take millions to do anything with that structure. Many of those commenting speak only from nostalgia. They aren't current taxpayers. It's a dangerous structure and our community would be better served to have a new, active library on Main Street.
  • by Joyce Location: Denison on Jul 31, 2007 at 07:01 AM
    I was born in Denison,Attended Terrell High School. I am a retired educator who in recent years have returned to my birth place. Why is there all of this discussion regarding DHS, THERE WAS NO HESITATION or all of this discussion when the decision to destroy Terrel High School,which was a newer building than dhs or central Ward School. Could it be that there are individuals that want to keep the memory of how life was in this town in the past when this school was built & functioning, such as White Supremacy,racism,confideracy,KKK. The original decision should stand. Build a new City Hall or bring in some type of industry to accomodate all citizens of denison especially those located on the east side who have to drive so far to get life services. Although my extended education is from Prairie View College, Wichita U.,San Diego state University and UCLA, I am very proud of my education roots from TERRELL HIGH SCHOOL. Denison needs to modernize the part of town where the old DHS is.
  • by David Location: McKinney, TX on Jul 28, 2007 at 07:47 PM
    Denison is my hometown and I sincerely hope the city leaders and citizens can work something out on the old high school. I was there this morning assisting with the petition drive and constantly looking at the architectural beauty of the building. It's hard to understand why anyone would want to tear down something so beautiful. I do believe the old high school can be a catalyst for economic growth on Main Street. Many of us remember those vibrant days on Main Street years ago. Old buildings have been restored in many towns and cities and have proven to be opportunities for economic growth. Some say "we've had 20 years to do something" so I would say, "what's another few months". I don't have to remind people that this location is where the first free school in Texas was built prior to the old high school. We are talking about Denison's and Texas' history here. Don't make a mistake.
  • by john Location: combine texas on Jul 28, 2007 at 06:54 PM
    I THINK THAT THEY SHOULD JUST LET THE CONTRACTOR DO WHAT HE WAS HIRED TO DO. LET THE ORIGINAL DECISION STAND.
  • by Paul & Carol Jennings Location: Denison on Jul 28, 2007 at 10:42 AM
    Let's get that thing down. The city must stand by the contracts and the provisions of the foundations funding. Too much money and time has already been spent in the past twenty one years of feasibility studies and etc..
  • by carol schaefer Location: florida on Jul 28, 2007 at 08:11 AM
    yes I vote to save the old Denison High School, many of us who have moved away look forward to returning to the area with fond memories. It will be an assest to the downtown tohave such ahistorical site that anchors the downtown.
  • by Tommy Location: Denison on Jul 27, 2007 at 06:29 PM
    Throwing $50 thousand at that old building is about the same as a cat whizzing on a house fire. Get rid of that dump !
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