Deadline nears on old Denison H.S.

By: Ruth Baker Email
By: Ruth Baker Email

DENISON -- It's been an uphill battle for supporters trying to save the old Denison High School. A recent letter in the mail is bringing some new found hope to supporters, and a well-known organization is also stepping in to help.

It's a heated debate- whether or not to save the old Denison high school. Supporters say the grass was so high you really couldn't even see the structure. Residents volunteered to come and mow for the upcoming sock hop, but the city stepped in and completed the task for them.

"We’ve got to have some money in the bank by Friday," says Michelle Castle with Save Old Denison High School.

Only a few days remain before the city council will decide the fate of the landmark on Monday. Supporters are stepping up to see the dream of saving the high school come true.

"The last count we we're at is well over a thousand residents," says supporter Joshua Gray.

An informational table set up on Main Street is generating public support, but another major player has shown some interest as well.

Supporters say the Chief of the Choctaw Nation has sent a letter encouraging them to try to preserve the building. Those leading the cause say they will present the letter to the council on Monday, showing them exactly what the nation is proposing.

They also will present the dollar amount raised.

"It’s very tough because we don’t have a dollar bench mark that we have to receive the city hasn't given us a dollar amount we have to have."

They say they need around $5 million to totally restore the building but right now are just trying to raise money for the approximate $1 million needed to restore the exterior while trying to gain support.

"We want to continue generating community support and give people the opportunity to sign the petition."

Time is running out for the old Denison High School. Around 30 people signed the petition Tuesday in hopes of saving the building. Supporters say on Friday during the sock hop celebration planned to celebrate the building’s 94th birthday, they plan to bring out all kinds of merchandise like pins and t-shirts to help raise the needed money for their cause.

Are you for or against saving the old Denison High School?

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  • by Steph Location: Denison on Aug 10, 2007 at 09:16 AM
    George, your the bomb! I agree with you 100%. Tear it down. Even if it is just an empty lot for next 10-20 yrs it would be better than looking at that monstrosity some are calling beautiful architecture. I don't think it would have been a pretty structure even back in it's day. I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder but I personally don't see it. I love history as much as the next person but I also say Denison is moving backwards and not forwards on this issue. I am tired of going to Sherman for every music CD, book, sports equipment, clothes or restaurant I want. It is rediculous that in a town this size that we have to do it. It really lowers my opinion of the city leaders that agreed to stop this demolition. I think this demolition should be the first of many, I could make a list of ghetto looking structures in Denison that need to be torn down. Keep up the fight George, I'm with you!
  • by Jeff Location: Denison on Aug 10, 2007 at 08:16 AM
    Elroy,I am not sure why you think me losing it one time is worse than all of Georges bashing and name calling beginning with his first post.Steve J,you are so right about how we represent out city."Perception is reality" is an old saying in many businesses.I remember my first day as a breadman for Mrs Bairds,an old breadman showed me how to handle the bread in the store ,like it was a precious commodity, I have always remembered that.The best way to add value to anything is to let people know how proud you are of that thing.My entire point to this entire thread is this,this project is not a taxpayer issue.If it is completed it will take some time.It will be a phased project.It will be self sustaining.If the council does not think that the plan they recieved today is viable,they will vote to finish demolition.One last thing George,the building remaining even empty is better than a vacant lot,remember there is no other plan for this site.
  • by Steve J Location: Denison on Aug 9, 2007 at 03:32 PM
    George the post that starts with your name is mine. My problem has been , and not just now, is bashing Denison with unsubstaniated and untrue remarks. We have our problems ,and they should be addressed, but make sure we have the right information. It is not that hard to research. I hate using anonymous.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 9, 2007 at 03:06 PM
    George I'am all for tearing down the building and want Denison to grow. My point is when you read these threads and see people saying things such as " If you want big buildings and corporate businesses go over to the other side of town" then you can't expect people to want to be part of your community. I'am not saying there is not drug usage on the site but if I read that and was from somewhere else I would wonder why the heck the police couldn't set up a watch and bust them. After all its only few blocks from the police station. There are very good people in Denison and whether we have money are not we respond to our citizens needs (fans for the elderly and such). Our schools were recognized in Newsweek a couple of months ago (300 ahead of other local schools our size)and 800 in the nation.In closing if private money walked up and said they were going to completely pay for restoration and maintain it I would say go for it but thats not going to happen. Brady made it clear No Tax Money
  • by George Location: Denison on Aug 9, 2007 at 02:53 PM
    Jeff, you're still dodging the hard questions man. I don't care about the finances of your campaign or your petition, answer this: 1) What SPECIFICALLY are you going to do with the building if you can renovate it, 2) How are you going to sustain it long-term financially without paying taxes after interest wanes in a year, 3)How is saving old DHS going to contribute to downtown's revival (besides being an interesting but useless piece of history), and 4) If this was so important, why wait until now to do something about it when you had years to? Is that how you answer questions when asking people for money to save it? I wouldn't give you a dime because it seems like you have no game plan, you just want to save an old eyesore because it's old or something and continue to make downtown look awful. I hope you're more prepared than this when you go before the council. You want to debate, here's your chance. By the way, don't worry, you were never at my level. A babboon's, maybe, but not me.
  • by Elroy on Aug 9, 2007 at 02:46 PM
    I would like to have a t-shirt if they are free though. I mean, after all everyone likes give-aways! So save George and I a few. We will frame it and put it on the wall of the new building along with the newspaper article. We need to put our money towards the education of our children. After all, one would think that the DISD is substandard to SISD. Especially when the man leading the cause to preserve Denison(because he went to school there for one year), who takes his own children to SISD.
  • by Elroy Location: Denison on Aug 9, 2007 at 02:15 PM
    Hey Jeff, you know an awful lot about where the money is going to. Can't imagine why anyone would think you were associated with the Pollaro's. When you take other peoples money, you DO have to prove something to all of us who pay taxes and who live in Denison. I would never want someone with your obvious temper running or working for any cause that I may be associated with. You have to set boundries on what comes out of your mouth. You call someone an idiot on the www, and speak like a hillbillie on crank, you get graded. Like it or not. George, we love you man. Keep up the fight.
  • by George Location: Denison on Aug 9, 2007 at 02:08 PM
    Steve - thank you for bringing something we can have a meaningful discussion about. Now, according to your numbers, between 2000 and 2005 Denison averaged growth of 1.2% a year. That is better than some places, but considering the growth happening around us, that is very anemic. And let's not forget we experienced population decline in some years before 2000. You said "You can't gripe about not having businesses when you tell the world it's a crappy place to live" True, but if your downtown looks like a ghetto, that's nothing to be proud of, either. Urban renewal is the key. Will tearing down old DHS magically fix things and make us grow? Of course not, but don't you think it's a path in the right direction? It's a signal of the desire to grow. Your tax rate figure was interesting... Sherman is growing more than Denison yet Denison has the higher tax rate. Could it be that Denison can't generate the revenue it needs because no new sources of revenue and value are being added?
  • by Jeff Location: Denison on Aug 9, 2007 at 01:45 PM
    George,sorry I didnt realize this was a graded exam. I am looking for the paperwork that says I have to prove something to you.The council will make a determination and we will be bound to it.All of us.All cost of t-shirts ,buttons and any administrative cost were paid by people for that purpose,no donations have been used.Jane, Im not sure about the 30 signature remark the numbers are closer to 2000 plus any out of town signatures.When you go to work on your real cause let me know,I'll be happy to help.As for the multiple references to Morton street,it appears to be the only street in town that has anything resembling progress,going on.If you have great plans to help Denison,why have they not been done ?George,sorry that I fell to your level in my last comment.I dont know you and you very obviously care about Denison also.Please understand,as long as the building stands we will fight to keep it.If it doesnt we will continue to try to make Denison a better place.
  • by George Location: Denison on Aug 9, 2007 at 01:18 PM
    Just being curious and feeling the winds here, but if the council gives in to the Pollaros and saves old DHS from being torn down, would there be any interest in doing a recall election of the mayor and any council members that vote to save the building? I don't know the legal specifics behind generating a recall, but I know it can be done. If the Pollaros can make news, so can we. Holding a recall election of several council members, or even just a movement to, would generate more news than the fight to save old DHS. It would certainly put the city on notice that we are tired of the current stagnant path of the town and that we want to grow just like every other city in North Texas. McKinney is one of the top five fastest-growing cities in the country, and they are only 30 minutes south. Growth is everywhere except Denison, and it's time for that to change. If not a recall, any other ideas? Any interest in my proposal? I am interested in hearing all opinions from all sides, pro & con.
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