Photo courtesy SISD
Socorro High alumni and community members took part in a final walkthrough of the original junior high portion of the flagship high school one last time before Bond 2017’s second phase of total reconstruction was set to begin.
Tours were given and those who participated shared heartfelt memories of their time as Socorro High Bulldogs. SISD District 5 Board Trustee Pablo Barrera coordinated the walkthrough.
“There are so many memories here and to see (the alumni’s) expressions hit me in my heart because this is something that has been through our family,” Barrera said. “If I am experiencing that with my own family, I can just imagine what the families, who have been here since their great grandparents, are feeling. It’s very heartwarming that the community asked for this, and it was important to do this for them to relive these memories.”
Tours of the facility were guided by SISD Police Services Sgt. Gabriel Castaneda, a Class of 2002 Socorro High School graduate.
“As a graduate from here and an employee now I get to relive those memories every day, but today we were able to give that same opportunity to other people,” Sgt. Castaneda said.
Throughout the tour, former students and employees reminisced remembering things from where their locker used to be and who was their favorite teacher to where they used to hang out at lunch and for some where they met their spouse.
Liliana Lara, Socorro High School Class of 2002, reminisced about the school as she walked the Health Professional Academy hallway where she was once a student.
“It’s funny that when we are here in high school, we can’t wait to get out of here and go off to college but now that I am back here, and I know that this isn’t going to be here anymore, it’s pretty emotional.”
Lara said her HPA family was tight knit, and she is still friends with many of her former peers, including her childhood best friend. She met her in Socorro and they work alongside each other today as nurses.
Daniel Ouijas, Class of 1981 and a current special education teacher at Montwood High School, said he is excited for the potential the new building will bring for future generations.
“I know that this is going to be awesome because it’s going to be one of the newest state-of-the-art schools and it’s been a long time coming,” Ouijas said. “We have a big population and a lot of kids come through this school, so we needed something like this.”
The $448.5 million SISD bond program was passed by voters in November 2017 with a 60 percent approval rate.
Bond 2017 has allowed for the total reconstruction of Socorro High School, which will create a state-of-the-art facility for the Socorro community. Completion of the reconstructed high school is scheduled for spring 2023.