As a two-year reconstruction project begins, students from Geneva Heights Elementary said goodbye to a school building that has been serving the Dallas community since 1931. The farewell ceremony was held on Friday, May 27, for faculty members, students and parents to say goodbye before the existing structure is demolished. As part of the farewell, attendees were given markers to write their own personal goodbye messages on the walls. They were also treated to a sneak peek of the new school, which is set to open in fall 2024. Until then, students and staff will be operating from the former Jill Stone Elementary School in Vickery Meadows.
At the event, alumni and former teachers shared memories of when they attended, and Principal Patrice Lane, the school’s principal since January, spoke of her anticipation about the new building.
“One of the reasons I am so excited is because we have a larger student body and I want to be able to put them comfortably in a building, and I do think we need this new building in order to do that,” Lane said. “It’s a beautiful structure, down to the detail.”
Student council president Celisse Bazaldua, said, “This building isn’t just full of the memories I’ve had. It’s also full of the things we’ve been through. We’ve gone through a pandemic, having to do online school, trying to figure out [how to use]technology when we thought we already knew how. Then we went back in person not knowing who was who because we could only see less than half of their faces.”
The school’s redesign is part of Dallas ISD’s Bond 2020 project which, in total, is a $31 million investment with three guiding principles: adapt to growth while maintaining a small, tight-knit community, remain the gem in the community, and reflect the spirit of our diverse community. Four meetings with Geneva Heights’ learning community and stakeholders were held in advance of the farewell ceremony.
The new design includes new PK-5 classrooms, collaboration spaces, secured entrances, a gymnasium, outdoor playgrounds, playfields, learning spaces and music, science and fine arts classrooms.
“I know we will get through missing the building,” Celisse said. We’ll take our memories with us, and not only be the cougars that close the chapter, but some of us will be the cougars that open the new chapter.”
For more information and to keep up to date on this project, visit www.dallasisd.org/thenewgenevaheights.