Wednesday was the last day of school for CCISD, and one school will not be re-opening its doors again. Beginning in August, Cullen Middle School will be consolidating with Haas Middle School. Cullen Middle School is scheduled to be torn down during the summer.
George Lerma, the principal at Cullen Middle School, says Wednesday was a bittersweet day for the students and staff on campus.
"There’s a saying, ‘you don’t know what you got until it’s gone,’" Mr. Lerma said. "And now suddenly everybody doesn’t want to go," he added.
Cullen Middle School first opened its doors in 1959. Now, roughly 450 students and staff are preparing for a new school year, a new beginning and with new friends.
Jordan Karpinski, a 6th grade student at Cullen Middle School, will be in seventh grade when she enters her new school. She says although she will miss walking the halls at Cullen Middle School, she’s excited to begin her time at her new school.
"It’s going to be a new experience, so I hope to meet a lot new people and the teachers," Karpinski said. "It’s going to be really fun."
Several years ago, the district noticed a need to provide a safer space for students.
"The building is showing its age," Mr. Lerma said. "The open-concept is no longer safe for kids because of the security concerns that we have these days."
Now, consolidation costs are being paid through a bond approved by voters in 2016.
Meanwhile, Haas Middle School has made additions to make room for several hundred Cullen Middle School students and staff. The school built a new wing, adding on about 19 spaces, including updated computer and science labs, new art rooms and a new band hall.?
Mr. Campbell, the current band director at Cullen Middle School, has been teaching at the school for 32 years. He will retire after this year, but has spent the last few weeks wrapping up his final lessons.
"Well it is sad," Mr. Campbell said. "Because you know, I’m used to it here, and I’ve taught thousands of kids, gone through lots and lots and lots of experiences."
It is unknown when Cullen Middle School will be torn down.