Community Greets First Of Three New Schools Opened This Year
Dedication of Thelma Richardson Elementary elicits cheers, support, and pride
DALLAS — Celebration and pride marked the Wednesday, Oct. 23, dedication of Thelma Elizabeth Page Richardson Elementary, one of three new schools opened this year funded by the Dallas ISD’s 2008 Bond Program. District and government officials joined staff, parents, students and community members for the festive occasion.
The two-story, 96,250-square-foot school at 7203 Burton Road, was built at a cost of $16.8 million with the capacity to serve as many as 800 students in prekindergarten through fifth grade.
Principal Courtney Thomas welcomed guests and the John B. Hood Middle School JROTC presented the colors and led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Dallas City Councilman Rick Callahan congratulated the district and school staff on the success of the bond program and the new opportunities it has created for students to learn in bright, new, modern facilities, a sentiment echoed by Dallas ISD District 9 Trustee Bernadette Nutall. “Thelma Richardson Elementary School is a modern, well-equipped, and well-staffed facility for learning of which we can all be proud,” she said.
Dallas ISD Chief of School Leadership Sylvia Reyna thanked voters for their support for the bond program and urged students to take full advantage of the school’s computer labs, library, and other state-of-the-art features. State Representative Toni Rose challenged parents and community members to generously support the school.
Referring to the school’s namesake, Nutall said, “Ms. Richardson was an unsung heroine whose life should stand as an inspiration to every student who attends this school.” Richardson was a Dallas ISD teacher and the plaintiff in a successful groundbreaking lawsuit in 1942 that equalized salaries for black and white teachers.
The school’s fifth grade choir, led by Director Savannah Schuring, performed “Blowin’ in the Wind” by Bob Dylan before Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority President Rita Cloman spoke about her hopes for the school’s future. Students also presented a time capsule they created to commemorate the event.
Dallas ISD Director of Design & Special Projects Larry Zerby outlined the school’s special features, and the dedication concluded with a performance of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” by the school’s fourth grade choir. Guests were treated to a reception and tours.
The project team that created the school included BRW Architects, general contractor Satterfield and Pontikes/3i and project manager, Parsons.
The second of the new schools to open this year, Billy Earl Dade Middle School at 2727 Grand Ave., will be dedicated at 10:30 a.m., Friday, Nov. 8.
In May 2008, Dallas voters supported a $1.35 billion bond program, paving the way for the district to build eight elementary schools, four middle schools and two high schools, and construct 177 new classrooms on 13 existing campuses. In addition, the bond program is in the process of providing roughly $521 million to renovate more than 200 schools, add 19 new science labs at six secondary schools and updates to 16 school kitchens and 22 lunchrooms. Information on the allocation of bond funds can be found at http://www.dallasisd.org/bond2008.