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Sunday, September 25, 2022
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Community Bids Farewell to 91-Year-Old Elementary Building


Old Geneva Heights Elementary | Image by Lakewood Advocate

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The school year has ended, but before breaking for the summer, Geneva Heights Elementary paused to bid a fond farewell to the historic old building, which is set to be demolished and rebuilt.

At a farewell ceremony held at Geneva Heights Elementary School on Delmar Avenue in East Dallas, faculty staff, students, and parents gathered once more in the halls of the old building, which was completed in 1931 and expanded in 1956 and 1995.

“This building isn’t just full of the memories I’ve had,” said Celisse Bazaldua, the student council president. “It’s also full of the things we’ve been through.”

She listed some of them, saying, “We’ve gone through a pandemic, having to do online school, trying to figure out [how to use] technology when we thought we already knew how. Then we went back in person, not knowing who was who because we could only see less than half of their faces.”

Attendees used permanent markers to write personal, heartfelt notes on doors and walls, saying goodbye before work begins on the demolition and two-year reconstruction of the school.

“One of the reasons I am so excited is because we have a larger student body, and I want to be able to put them comfortably in a building,” explained Patrice Lane, who became the school’s principal in January.

Referring to the decision that DISD made to build an entirely new building rather than restructure the old one, Lane added, “I do think we need this new building in order to do that.”

“It’s a beautiful structure, down to the detail,” she said of the new design.

The event organizers offered a sneak peek at the plans for the new school, which will open in the fall of 2024. In the meantime, classes for school years 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 will be held in the former Jill Stone Elementary School in Vickery Meadows.

The makeover of the historic elementary is part of Dallas ISD’s Bond 2020 program. The Geneva Heights Elementary construction project is a $31 million project with three guiding principles: adapt to growth while maintaining a small, close-knit community, remain the community’s gem, and reflect the spirit of their diverse community.

New Pre-K through fifth-grade classrooms, collaboration spaces, protected entrances, a gymnasium, outdoor playgrounds, playfields, learning spaces, and music, science, and fine arts classrooms are among the new design features.    

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Mary Preussel
Mary Preussel
3 months ago

Ummm…,,none of those ideals will be available for the kids who have to be bused to Vickery Meadows for two years…..