The highly anticipated ground breaking for the new Emeline Carpenter Elementary School is set for 2 p.m., Friday, Sept. 27, at the school’s future site located along Southeast Stallings Drive across from McMichael Middle School.
Once completed, Emeline Carpenter would be the first new elementary school opened in Nacogdoches since Brooks-Quinn-Jones was completed in 2001.The groundbreaking for the new campus represents the culmination of months of work that began more than a year ago prior to Nacogdoches ISD voters overwhelmingly approving a $77.9 million bond package.
The new campus also represents the first major construction project funded by the bond project to get underway in the district. Some priority maintenance projects paid for with the bond were completed during the summer.
Other major projects planned as part of the bond package include a Career and Technical Education Center at Nacogdoches High School, expansion of the current McMichael Middle School and renovation and expansion of the NISD Student Transportation facility.
“This is such an important moment for our school district and our community,” said NISD interim Superintendent Alton Frailey. “It’s the culmination of the work of a lot of folks in our community that stepped up last year and said, ‘We can do better.’
“I’m extremely proud to be a part of this moment in Nacogdoches history.”
Work on designing the new Emeline Carpenter began shortly after NISD voters approved the bond proposal in November by a more than two-to-one margin.
By January, architects designing the new school were meeting with Carpenter staff to glean input on what the new campus might look like. Within hours of those initial meetings, the first visual renderings of the new campus were created.
“It might seem like a lot of time has passed since voters approved the bond, but designing a facility of this size and scope requires careful planning,” Frailey said. “We want this campus to be a showpiece in East Texas – and it will be – but all of us understand we have to design it right because it will be an essential part of this community for decades to come.”
NISD hopes to have the new Emeline Carpenter campus ready for use sometime in early 2021, meaning the current school term that started last month could be the last full year students occupy the existing Carpenter campus. Students would open the 2020-21 academic year at the current campus, but NISD officials expect to finish that spring semester in the new facility.