Mayor Gunter Takes San Angelo ISD to Task Over Old Campus


SAN ANGELO, TX — The San Angelo Independent School District Board of Trustees received an update on the future of the Central on Oaks St. building during a recent meeting. This is the building that formerly housed the Central Freshman Campus.

City of San Angelo Mayor Brenda Gunter spoke during the public comments portion of the meeting regarding the historical value the building has. 

“San Angelo has lost much of its history, old homes of those pioneer citizens who built the country and the county and the town buildings which house businesses that kept the town growing through two world wars and an economic depression,” Gunter said. “And schools were educating generations of future citizens, they're gone forever. If walls could talk, if the walls were still standing, they would tell us of lives lived, lessons learned, and the much-needed hope for survival in the future.  

“The Old San Angelo Junior College is almost 100 years old,” she said. “It is, by the way, the same age as City Hall and the auditorium. Imagine if we tore either down or sold either off to the best vendor. It is a structural senior citizen and like humans, senior citizens, it has lived a valuable life and still has much to offer to this community. Old buildings and old people need not be considered expendable when their experience is a beacon for future generations. It is not too late for the college to become something even greater than it is today. It must live beyond fading memories, old newspaper clippings, and photographs. Please consider what destroying more San Angelo history will mean in the coming years. How can we have a future if we have no memory of the past from which it came?” 

The school board then received an update on the building. 

It was said at the meeting that moving students from the old building on Oakes to the main Central campus was an effort to increase instructional minutes for students, so they're not being shuttled back and forth, to cut down on transportation. The board heard about plumbing and sewer issues within the old building's cafeteria. 

Most students and programs have transitioned to the main campus, although some spaces at the old Oakes Street building will be utilized out of necessity. The San Angelo ISD administrative team provided details on the progress of the move and expectations for the new school year.

The City of San Angelo also presented information on the proposed Downtown Historic Overlay to the Board of Trustees. 

Director of Planning & Development Services Aaron Vannoy spoke on behalf of the City, emphasizing the importance of preserving historic buildings.

“We continue to lose buildings in this part of town that are significant to our history, to our culture, and to San Angeloans,” Vannoy said. “We really do think that these are very critical to keep for our history, or our students of the future like all of those athletes that were here today and all your students to self teach. They want to know our history too, so they can learn how we became and how we can continue in San Angelo. 

“Our goal is to try to preserve the integrity and the look of the building the best we can visually, being as historic as we can,” he said. “There can be times that modern practices come into place and come in and still have the look of the old but maybe a modern material. The inside of the building does not have to stay historic, you do not have to have a historic sewer system." 

Vannoy added that improved communication between the city and the school district to facilitate preservation efforts. "We want to work with your team better so that they understand what we will be looking for," he said.

Board President Dr. Taylor Kingman said that the school district is still in the planning stages regarding the main campus. 

“We know what we’re doing with it next year. We don't know what we're doing with it beyond that,” he said. 

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GMann, Tue, 05/21/2024 - 17:30

Save time and money deed it over to Shannon . After all what Shannon wants Shannon gets !

The City has NO say in what the school district feels will fit the needs of the students best and what works best within their budget!

The front of the building covers open graves of San Angelo's first Cemetery in the sub Basement. It's time to summon state Archaeologists to do a study. Historical value? Disturbing the graves of San Angelo's pioneers?

They should send out the taxidermists, too. It would be amazing to see the actual fangs of a real pioneer, red haired, 8 ft tall and towering above the crowd with their antlers, noosed rope and pickaxe in hand.

They were still digging them up after I left Edison which was the old San Angelo High School before it was condemned so that they could build Central.

The practice football field is where the new Freshman Campus building is located. My uncle played football over where the former graves were dug up and said it felt like running on a bumpy road. They called it the "Grave Yard Gridiron."

We should just deed the entire city of San Angelo to Shannon medical including the mayors home and restaurant. That way even she can get the shittiest possible health care available at every corner!!!

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