Jo Anne Embleton
Jacksonville Daily Progress
Jacksonville ISD officials will dedicate two new elementary schools during Feb. 3 ceremonies at Joe Wright Elementary, 1055 N. Pineda St., and East Side Elementary, 711 Fort Worth Street.
Joe Wright will be dedicated during a 2 p.m. ceremony, while the East Side building dedication is slated for 4 p.m, said Dr. Joe Wardell, JISD superintendent.
The projects, under the direction of Pogue Construction of McKinney, were successfully completed in time for the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year as part of four-part project funded through a $49.8 million bond voters approved in November 2010.
Both school campuses feature new 85,000-square-foot buildings.
East Side's history can be traced to 1910, when elementary students attended classes at a school building located where the Tomato Bowl presently stands, according to the www.tomatocapital.com, which posts a history of the different school programs operating in the Jacksonville district.
The structure was originally meant to house high school students, but “before the building was finished, several elementary grades were also placed there,” according to history: “Mrs. V.P. Monkress, known to hundreds as 'Miss Lavinia,' tells of moving her class in to the building before it was finished, making a door out of a window with steps down into the room. The windows had to be closed because of sawdust and shavings that blew into her room, and 'the noise was terrible.' The children entertained themselves with the wood shaving curls.”
By 1915, the growing high school program was moved to Kickapoo Street, and the building housed both the high school and middle school program – it also briefly had a first and second grade class that was moved back to the East Side Campus. The school, according to history, was named for local business owner Joe Wright but was more commonly known as Jacksonville High School.
East Side experienced growing pains, and by 1930, the district began looking into erecting a new building and funds collected. The school moved to 711 Fort Worth in 1939, according to www.jack.sprnet.org, and the old school building was torn down so that the Tomato Bowl Stadium could be erected. That same year, the Joe Wright high school campus received an auditorium.
An elementary school was erected on the Joe Wright campus in 1952 and housed grades one through six until the Fred Douglas program (launched in 1922) became an intermediate school program. However, with the construction of the new school last year, the Joe Wright program moved from Kickapoo Street to the Pineda site.
Today, the Joe Wright campus, which offers a pre-K though fourth grade program, has an enrollment of 520. East Side, which also has a pre-K through 4 program, has approximately 615 students enrolled.