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End of an Era: Former students take one last look before Kenedy High School demolished to make room for new facilities
by Joe Baker
Apr 10, 2014 | 71 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Michael Humphries photo
Pictured here is Kenedy High School before demolition work began recently to demolish the building in order to open up space for the construction of new school facilities. The building was in use for about 60 years.
Michael Humphries photo Pictured here is Kenedy High School before demolition work began recently to demolish the building in order to open up space for the construction of new school facilities. The building was in use for about 60 years.
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Joe Baker photo
Atop a pile of concrete and debris, demolition workers bring down a section of the Kenedy High School building April 3.
Joe Baker photo Atop a pile of concrete and debris, demolition workers bring down a section of the Kenedy High School building April 3.
slideshow
Photo by Michael Humphries
Photo by Michael Humphries
slideshow
Photo by Michael Humphries
Photo by Michael Humphries
slideshow
Photo by Michael Humphries
Photo by Michael Humphries
slideshow
Photo by Michael Humphries
Photo by Michael Humphries
slideshow
Photo by Michael Humphries
Photo by Michael Humphries
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Photo by Michael Humphries
Photo by Michael Humphries
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KENEDY – Kenedy High School was open to the public March 31 so that people who attended school there would have the chance to walk the halls of Kenedy High School one last time before demolition work began to make way for new high school facilities.

About a year ago voters approved a $16.95 Million project to build new school facilities.

The existing gym will remain and be remodeled, and the newer building adjacent to the east side of the original high school will be remodeled into science labs.

New buildings will include a lobby, high school classroom wing, middle school classroom wing, library, auditorium, band hall, new gym, locker rooms and weight room.

Steve Sellers, who graduated with the Kenedy High School class of 1968 was one those who came to Kenedy to see the old school one last time. He said his years at Kenedy High School laid the foundation for what ended up being a long and interesting career in radio broadcasting.

Sellers said it was kind of sad moment for him to see the old school torn down, but seeing the school brought back great memories from his high school years.

“I drove a Volkswagen Beetle to school and I would come out of the breezeway for lunch and there were days when some guys would get together and carry my Volkswagen to the lawn in front of the George Dumont gym,” Sellers said describing the time he was “pranked.” “I would look for my car to go to lunch, and there it would be on the grass!”

His days in the Kenedy High School Band are among his fondest memories, Sellers said, noting that during all four years he was in high school, the band earned sweepstakes honors.

Sellers remembers when it was a “new” high school when built back in the 1950s and students were moved from the old high school at the corner of School and Fourth Streets.

“Everything changes, and now that is changing, too,” Sellers said.

The current site is at least the third location where a high school has been built in Kenedy.

The Kenedy Independent School District was established in 1894 with 68 students at that time.

In 1908 a three-story high school building was built near the intersection of Victoria and St. Mary’s Streets about two blocks away from the railroad.

In 1923, a new two-story high school building was build at School and Fourth Street and the older building was used for elementary school classes.

A school for children of Hispanic heritage was built in 1929 and a school for black children was built in 1931.

The three-story building was apparently replaced at the same site with a one-story brick building constructed in 1938 that continued to be used for elementary school classes.

High school students were moved from the building at School and Fourth Streets to the “new” high school located at Farm-to-Market Road 719 in the 1950s and the old high school, which is currently being remodeled to become a hotel and conference center, became a school for elementary-age students.

See video of former students reminiscing and visiting Kenedy High School at mySouTex.com.
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