ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – There’s a junior high school homecoming of a different kind happening in North Texas. Hundreds of former students and staff members will return to Arlington’s Hutcheson Junior High School Monday night. The group will have one last hurrah at the building before it is torn down.
This is the first time since 1987 that Shelley Bulin has had to pack the things in her classroom. Speaking of the upcoming gathering the history teacher said, “It’ll be bittersweet. It’ll be, probably a little bit emotional.”
Bulin’s entire teaching career has been spent at Hutcheson Junior High, where she says it’s been more than just a job. “Texas History is what I teach, but I want to give them [students] those lifelong lessons and skills that they’re going to need to be successful.”
Ironically, now Hutcheson will now become part of Texas history. Tens of thousands of former students are part of that legacy — dating back to when the school opened in 1963.
A lot of former students said that when they would drive by the area, along Pioneer and Browning, just seeing the school would bring back a flood of memories.
Instructional Coach Beth Zimmerman is trying to brace herself for that change. “I drive by this location quite often, so when I actually see the building begin to be torn down, I think it will be emotional.”
Samantha Chasteen is a 7th grader who says she respects the building partly because it is the same school her parents attended. She says she hopes other young classmates respect it too. “I think they should appreciate the school, ’cause it’s just the right thing to do. So, you should like it.”
A bond election made way for plans to demolish Hutcheson. A new Career and Technical Center will be erected at the same site. That center is scheduled to open in August 2017.
With just days left in the only place Bulin has ever taught, she realizes how great old yearbooks really can be. “Kind of reminiscing a little bit of all the good times we’ve had here. They are yearbooks, yeah, and our memories. We always have our memories.”
The homecoming event is being held at 7 p.m. in the Hutcheson Junior High auditorium, with an open house afterwards.
The last day of school for current students is in two and a half weeks. Next year, children in the district will attend Workman Junior High.
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