Whitehouse Independent School District is facing many changes for the 2018-2019 school year, including a new Brown Elementary and a new junior high.
A nearly $95 million bond was passed in November 2016 approving the two separate propositions which allowed for the construction of two new schools, several other additions and improvements, upgrades to areas of the existing stadium as well as construction of an indoor multi-purpose facility on the high school campus.
While many may be excited about the changes in Whitehouse ISD, particularly the new school facilities, there are those who are sad to see the demolition of their beloved alma mater.
The long-standing junior high building began as Whitehouse Elementary School and remained so until 1980 when Cain Elementary opened. The north building of the current junior high, which opened in 1969, served as the high school until the new high school opened in 2000.
Having served as an elementary, high school and finally a junior high; a great number of students and staff have connection to the building. There is now a movement, spearheaded by Rachel Leewright and David Cassady, to gather those who fondly remember their time in the building, regardless of when they attended or what grades they were in while attending classes there. The purpose is to take final photographs before the building is razed.
“It literally breaks my heart,” Leewright said. “It was a home for me. I was very comfortable there. A lot of the teachers were teachers for my parents.”
Leewright’s parents, Jeanmarie Smith and Charles Thomas McReynolds, also attended school on that campus.
“This is the last time we are going to see our school,” Leewright stated as a reason for the gathering. “It’s never going to be there again. The only things we are going to have are the memories that we keep inside us.”
It is also hoped that there will be final pictures to keep along with those memories. Leewright encourages everyone with any connection to the school, whether student, teacher, staff or administration, to join her at the flagpole in front of the old junior high at 3 p.m. Sunday, July 8.
For more information on the meeting, visit the Facebook page for David Cassady.
Whitehouse ISD Superintendent Dr. Christopher Moran released a statement on the proposed gathering.
“WISD is aware that former students of the old Whitehouse High School campus are planning to gather at the flagpole on July 8th at 3:00 p.m. to take a picture and we have communicated that to the construction company. We want to remind anyone interested that the campus is a construction zone and there is construction equipment present. The current junior high buildings are being abated for asbestos and entry is for authorized construction personnel only.
The reputation of WISD, the standard of excellence, is high as a result of the incredible individuals who have taught and supported our students. Buildings are not what have made us, but the glue that holds us together is the pride we have inside to be a Whitehouse Wildcat. WISD is committed to providing updated facilities to improve the quality of instruction offered to students as well as appropriate safety and security for students, parents, and staff. The new Junior High, under the capable leadership of our new principal, Mr. William Ripley, will offer each of our students the high quality education we seek to provide every one of our students each and every day.”