Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Zan Wesley Holmes Jr. Middle School groundbreaking celebrated by community

Rev. Dr. Zan Wesley Holmes, Jr. speaking at a ...REV. DR. ZAN WESLEY HOLMES, JR.

Jimmie Tyler Brashear Elementary School Glee Club performs

Senator Royce West speaks for elected officials

Rev. Holmes and Dr. Frederick Douglas Haynes, III
T. W. Browne Middle School Students and Rev. Holmes

Sen. Royce West, Rev. Holmes, Carrie Holmes, County Commissioner John Wiley Price

Supt. Hinojosa, Rev. Holmes, Carrie Holmes and Savannah

                 Official Groundbreaking Ceremony

For Immediate Release: November 2, 2010

School honors community leader, features green design

DALLAS Parents, students, community leaders and elected officials turned out in large numbers Oct. 29, for the groundbreaking of Zan Wesley Holmes Jr. Middle School, Dallas Independent School Districts fifth event of the 2008 Bond Program.

      "The new school will improve the community and students lives," said School Board Second Vice President Carla Ranger, who serves District 6.  "It is very fitting that we have named this 21st century middle school in honor of Rev. Zan Wesley Holmes Jr. who served this community extremely well over several decades and made Dallas a better place for us all."

      The new three-story school located at 2910 St. David Dr. will serve 1,250 students in sixth through eighth grades. Opening in 2012, plans for the 195,000-square-foot building include nine science classrooms, three ESL and two world languages classrooms as well as softball, baseball and football fields. Architectural plans feature a number of sustainable design elements that will reduce water consumption by 35 percent, include a geothermal HVAC system, improve energy efficiency and take advantage of natural lighting.

      While we focus on creating the best facility to prepare our students for the future, it is important to remember we have responsibilities for safeguarding our planet and resources for the next generation, said Superintendent of Schools Michael Hinojosa. Zan Wesley Holmes Jr. Middle School will be a school building that seamlessly merges both ideals to create a learning environment capable of supporting our natural environment.

       West Secondary Learning Community Executive Director Cynthia Goodsell welcomed the crowd to the ceremony. The T.W. Browne Middle School Leadership Cadet Corps presented the flag and the Jimmie Tyler Brashear Elementary School Glee Club performed Gloria Estefans Get On Your Feet.

      Deputy Chief of Operations Phil Jimerson reviewed project details and the construction timeline. Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, former State Board of Education Member Eleanor Conrad and Friendship West Baptist Church Senior Pastor Frederick D. Haynes III reflected on Holmes leadership and the many lives he has positively influenced.

      The school is named to honor Rev. Zan Wesley Holmes Jr., retired SMU theology professor, civil rights leader and Pastor Emeritus at Dallas St. Luke Community United Methodist Church where he served for 28 years. Holmes was tapped in 1968 to complete the unfinished term of the late Joseph Lockridge, the first African American elected to the Texas House of Representatives. Subsequently, Holmes played a key role in the desegregation of Dallas schools as a member of the Tri-Ethnic committee that negotiated the school districts court-ordered desegregation plan, and he also served as the first African American member of the University of Texas Board of Regents.

      AECOM is the project manager of the new school, Rogers-OBrien serves as the general contractor and the architectural firm of Perkins + Will designed the building.

      The next bond-related event is a topping-out ceremony for Wilmer-Hutchins Elementary School, set for 2 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9, at 7475 J.J. Lemmon Road.