August 6, 2021

Tina Veal-Gooch
Director of Public Relations
903.794.3651 ext. 1013

TISD Board of Trustees Called Meeting Addresses Potential Purchase of Former School Property

Texarkana, TX – During the special called meeting of the Texarkana Independent School District Board of Trustees on August 6, 2021, the sole action item focused on the consideration and/or approval of a resolution authorizing acquisition of property at 1915 Pine Street by purchase, if possible.

The Pine Street property served as Texas High School’s third campus, which was completed in 1930. The facility was designed by the architectural firm of Witt, Siebert and Haley and constructed by Oats Building and Construction Company. It was built for 750 students and through the years housed between 400 and 1.343 students. A series of additions to the campus were made in the 1940’s for expansion. By September 1967, Texas High School was moved from Pine Street to Kennedy Lane. The former Texas High School building became the new Pine Street Junior High School. The last class for the property was held in 1996 and the building was officially retired by TISD in 2003.

In 2005, the property was acquired by the current property owner in a land swap with TISD. At the time, the property owner proposed a plan for senior loft apartments. In January 2014, the property was approved as a historical designation by the Texas Historic Commission. The National Register of Historic Places approved the historical designation in March 2014.

“The Pine Street property has been left in complete disrepair by the current property owner,” said Fred Norton, Jr., President of the TISD Board of Trustees. “After years of inattention and of natural decay, it has become an eyesore, a public health hazard and a detriment to our community’s surge of economic development. At this juncture, the property cannot be transformed absent an extraordinary and nonsensical injection of private capital. Texarkana and the Highland Park neighborhood, in particular, deserve better.”

“TISD Board of Trustees desires to reclaim the property for a potential new campus development, adding to the revitalization of the neighborhood. We see this new “start over” as a key part to our upcoming Strategic Planning efforts and as an obligation to our tax payers,” continued Norton.

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