Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The History Of South Marshall Elementary School

By Richard Fluker (2006)

South Marshall School came into existence as a result of united efforts of the patrons. The children in this section of town could not attend either West End School (Stephen F. Austin) or East End School (Sam Houston) because of the long distance to walk. Mrs. Kathryn Ruffin and Mrs. Robert Boone were instrumental in arousing patrons to draft a petition to present to the City Commissioners.

This petition action culminated in a $60,000 bond issue in January 1916, for the purpose of building two new elementary schools: Van Zandt and South Marshall. In February the school board allocated $12,000 of the money for South Marshall School, to be located at the corner of Meadow and Pecan streets. Chesley Adams, former school superintendent, sold a portion of his land to the school board and donated the remainder for the school site. Construction of the building began on May 15. The school opened on December 11, 1916, with an enrollment of 87.

As a result of community gorwth, it became necessary in 1945 to add four classrooms, clinic, bookroom, restrooms, teachers' lounge, principal's office and cafeteria.

Crowding became acute in 1953, and a portable classroom was built on the east side of the campus. Enrollment increased again in 1954, and the clinic and part of the office were used as a classroom until a second portable could be moved in.

In 1962, the construction of nine new classrooms was completed -- four extending east from the southh end of the building and five from the north end. The old two-story structure was removed. Two classrooms and a library were added beneth the elevated south win in 1979.

In the fall of 1987, the north win was expanded to include six classrooms and restrooms for kindergarten and first grade and several portable were removed. Funds came fro mthe 1986 bond issue, which provided $5.5 milllion for additions to five schools and facilities for adminstration, food service, maintenance and transportation. In the fall of 1990, South Marshall became the first MISD elementary school to have a gymnasium.

With MISD's reorganization in 1981, South Marshall School began serving students in grades K-4. until then, it had been a K-6 school. Head Start classes were taught at the school from fall 1999 to spring 2002.

Update: South Marshall Elementary School became the district's STEM Academy in 2014-2015, serving STEM students in grades K-4 and being renamed South Marshall STEM Academy. The STEM Academy will be moved to the current Sam Houston Middle School campus, which is being renovated as part of the Legacy 2017 building program. The current facility at South Marshall will be sold, rented, demolished or repurposed for further district use beginning in the 2016-2017 school year.