Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Local News

April 24, 2009

<font color="red">Still beam-ing with pride</font>

Old school with unique auditorium part of tour

By Libby Cluett

lcluett@mineralwellsindex.com

What’s so important about the old Mineral Wells High School, one might ask about the three-story building included in Saturday’s Palo Pinto County on Tour.

Recently, architects visited the site and were amazed at what they saw, according to Jessie Teddlie, executive director of the 50 Year Club, the entity that owns the campus of historic buildings.

Improvements, clean up and restoration activities are under way, according to Teddlie. On Saturday Palo Pinto County on Tour visitors will have the chance to see what’s been done and learn about future plans for the Old High School building, the 1937 outdoor amphitheater built by the Works Progress Administration, the Little Rock Schoolhouse and the Lillian Peak Home Economics Building – now being used as the Creative Art Center.

“Each of these have historical value and the entire complex is being submitted as a Texas/National Historic District,” said Teddlie.

• Notable in the high school is the auditorium with it’s balcony suspended by one large beam.

“We have been told by Texas Historical Commission visitors as well as architects submitting bids for the renovations that this structural design for a high school auditorium was specifically unique and structurally amazing in terms of the balcony,” said Teddlie.

Also at the 1914 high school is a restored classroom. Learn plans for future plans to restore each floor of the high school.

“We are currently accepting bids from architectural and engineering firms, approved by the Texas Historical Commission, to complete the first stage designs, drawings and cost breakdowns for renovations to the building,” Teddlie said.

• Next to the high school, visitors can see the 1884 two-room Little Rock Schoolhouse. This served as Mineral Wells’ first public school and is the oldest existing school building in the city. The building’s stones were hauled in by mule-drawn wagons from Rock Creek and hand cut on the site. The building was listed as a Texas Historical Landmark in 1985.

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