Hinojosa Takes a Break from Budget Woes to Break Ground on Ann Richards Middle School
|Photos by Patrick Michels|
|Superintendent Michael Hinojosa and Dan Richards, Ann Richards' son, turned over the dirt at DISD's newest construction project, flanked by trustees Bernadette Nutall, Carla Ranger and Nancy Bingham.|
Of course, that's not the kind of green most people are worried about at DISD, and after this morning's ceremony in far southeast Dallas near Mesquite, Superintendent Michael Hinojosa reminded reporters why it's not so crazy, after all, to be opening new schools and laying off teachers all at once.
"For the average person, it's hard to understand, but there's actually two budgets," he said. "They cannot be commingled."
It's all about using resources efficiently, he said, getting as much as possible out of this new school building when it opens in August 2012. "Worst-case scenario," Hinojosa said, they'd close down an old school to open this one.
|"Yes, even though we're under a budget crunch, we're going to build schools," HInojosa said this morning.|
Before the talk turned to money, though, this morning's ceremony was all about sustainable design and the school's namesake.
DISD Trustee Nancy Bingham, whose district includes the new school, got to pick its name. "I wanted to name as many schools in District 4 as possible after women who had made a difference, not only in my life, but were trend-setters," Bingham said during the ceremony. With Dan Richards, son of the former Texas governor and school teacher, sitting in the front row, Bingham said Richards "was, for me, the first woman who was a major political figure."
Bingham said the new school will draw its students from Edward Titche, C. A. Tatum Jr., and Urban Park Elementary, and probably others in the future. (As for the staff, Hinojosa told reporters later, "the teachers will follow the kids.")
Best of all this morning, though, was DISD Deputy Director of Operations Phil Jimerson's make-believe tour of the 21-acre patch of dirt, detailing features of school-to-be like a proud new father, from the gyms to the driveway to, yes, the exterior sundial. "$29.5 million will be spent, basically, on this campus," he said.
"There's no doubt in Phil's mind," Jimerson added, one hand pressed to his chest, "that we're going to see design awards come out of this school."
|Phil Jimerson sweeps his hand across the horizon moments after referring to himself in the third person.|
|District 4 trustee Nancy Bingham had the naming rights for the new school.|
|The Harold W. Land Sr. Middle School Cadet Corps approves of these cermonial cupcakes.|