KXAS-TV
cary middle dallas

Dallas district moves forward to replace schools damaged by 2019 tornado

Oct. 20, 2020
More than $130 million has been allocated to rebuild or replace 3 schools irreparably damaged in October 2019

A year after a tornado caused widespread destruction at three Dallas Independent School District campuses, plans to both rebuild and re-imagine the schools are underway.

KXAS-TV reports that the district is moving forward with projects to rebuild or replace Thomas Jefferson High School, Cary Middle School and Walnut Hill Elementary. All three schools were severely damaged to the point they could no longer be occupied.

"They (the students) had the tornado, the pandemic - no graduation," said said Superintendent Michael Hinojosa. "It's been tough on a lot of people,”

In January, the school board approved spending more than $130 million to start the process of rebuilding Thomas Jefferson and a new campus that would hold the students of both Cary Middle School and Walnut Hill Elementary -- as well as a new career center.

But in August, the contractor hired to do the work was abruptly dismissed by the district.

Now, Hinojosa says work is back on track and no money was wasted. But the reopening of Thomas Jefferson has been pushed back to October 2022; the other facilities will be completed after that.

“We will try to make some of that time up, but you can’t short circuit some of those very important processes in construction, and if we have to open late, we will open late,” said Hinojosa.

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