Using history to save old Denison High School

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DENISON, Tex. -- The fight to save the old Denison High School continues, but the key to saving it might rest with other historical landmarks in the city.

It’s no secret that a lot of money will have to be raised to keep the old Denison High School standing. City officials say that money might have to come from private citizens.

But, a solution to that problem might not be out of reach.

Historic Denison consists of much more than just the old high school. It’s Eisenhower’s Birthplace, the Chisolm Trail, the Travelers Hotel, and the Old Katy Depot, home to the Katy Railroad which brought life to the city.

"If they were to incorporate all the other history that we have here in Denison, they would actually be getting people involved to pay for their history," says Denison city councilman Obie Greenleaf.

Greenleaf has lived in Denison most of his life and thinks the best chance for residents to save the old Denison High School and bring in money is to market the area as being historically significant.

"If you can show them on the ground things that happened that’s historical to them they might be willing to fund it.”

It’s an idea which officials at the Texas Historical Commission say might just work.

"That’s relatively unusual to have a school with this prominent of a location adjacent or part of a commercial district."

Officials with the commission say there are over 100 historical buildings in the Denison commercial district not including other sites around the city like the Chisholm Trail. Its marker is hidden by trees.

Greenleaf says that if these areas can be cleaned up and put together for educational purposes, it could just attract enough money.

The amount of money needed to save old Denison High School from being demolished has not yet been determined, but residents wanting to save it have until August 10th to come up with the money or another solution.

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