Community tours new MHS
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer
MABANK–Oohs and ahs could be heard up and down the halls
as citizens explored the new Mabank High School.
Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Visitors look around in awe while walking
through the second-floor hallway at MHS.
Following an inspiring dedication ceremony, Mabank
Independent School District residents toured the shiny, brand new
building for the first time.
The 750-seat auditorium was packed for the dedication ceremony Sunday
afternoon. A loud buzz could be heard all over as everyone talked about
what they had seen coming in.
Then suddenly, everything became quiet as Principal Dr. Tommy Wallis
walked out on the stage, followed by a rousing cheer as he welcomed
everyone to “The ‘new’ Mabank High School.”
Board president Gary Sapp noted that it had been only 18 months since
“It is a great long-term investment,” Sapp said.
He recognized the Citizens Facility Committee, Dr. Wallis and his staff
and introduced State Rep. Betty Brown.
Brown commended the community and its success.
“This high school will serve the community for many years to come. So,
best wishes and I want to present this flag, flown over the State
Capital,” she said.
Ed Busch, with the Facilities Committee, recalled their first tour of
the old high school to assess the need.
“We went to the library. It was cold and there was no heat. Water was
splashing into a child’s swimming pool on a desk as it dripped from the
ceiling,” he recalled.
That was three years ago.
Now, Wallis is statewide Principal of the Year, Dr. Russell Marshall is
the District 10 Superintendent of the Year for the second straight year,
Busch reminded the audience, who clapped and cheered.
Marshall told the audience the new school has been in the minds of many
for several years.
He asked former school board members to stand, and among those was Dr.
Marshall then asked former school employees to stand, and then current
He asked those present to think forward to how their children will
benefit from the new school.
“If this doesn’t challenge your children and mine, I don’t know what
will,” Marshall said as he asked the audience to stand and be part of
the first standing ovation in the new auditorium.
Following the dedication pledge by all present, Marshall said a prayer.
He gave thanks to God for the building, and that no one suffered serious
injury during its construction.
He dedicated the building to the students, to the community and to God.
The audience was dismissed to tour the building and to enjoy
refreshments provided by the Facilities Committee members.
The approximately $30 million structure came in on time and on budget.
It is a two-story, 210,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility with 68
academic teaching areas, eight of which are science labs.
The building has a library and computer labs, specialized areas for
food, art and fabric, and a life science lab for special education
Students are welcomed into a large commons area that features a 24-foot
The 1,500-seat competition gym allows for student athletic events and
other assemblies, and a physical education gym that seats 400 can be
used for smaller events.
The fine arts area consists of band and choir halls with plenty of
The school was designed by Claycomb Associates, Architects and
constructed by Charter Builders, Ltd.
Early Childhood Center opens for MISD
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer
MABANK–Four bright, colorful rooms are ready to help Mabank Independent
School District employees with small children.
The Early Childhood Development Center, for children aged six weeks to
about five years, allows teachers and employees the security of knowing
their children are near and safe while they are working.
“Our room leads (teachers or caregivers) have each worked hard to get
their rooms ready,” coordinator Edna Duncan said.
“This will be a great asset to the district,” she added.
The department already has approximately 35 students, mostly under 2,
“Their parents can come down to visit on breaks and/or have lunch with
their child. We will encourage their visits,” Duncan said.
State inspectors cleared the school for tiny students during a visit the
last week of July, she said.
“This is a Class ‘A’ program,” Duncan said she was told by the state
The 2- to 3-year-old classroom for tiny tots gets the once-over from big
brother Dillon Strong, assistant teacher Becky Scott and new student
3-year-old Becky Strong. Dillon shows Becky the magic of each new toy
she will get to play with once Mom goes to work.