Students and alums say goodbye, hello to Booker T high school

Tuesday, September 26th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Booker T Washington High School opened another chapter of Hornet history Monday.
Students, school officials, and community members gathered to open a new classroom wing, and break ground on a new school that will be attached to it. "This is very exciting, because this is a dream come true for so many people who've worked so hard," said Ed Lacy, former Hornet head coach and B-T-W alumnus.

Tulsa mayor Susan Savage joined others in commending the magnet high school's students, staff and programs. She also thanked citizens who approved the school bond packages that will pay for new construction. "I think the whole community, not just north Tulsa, but the whole city of Tulsa is elated about this,” Lacy said. “It took the whole city to pass this bond issue.

The 1996 bond issue paid for a new science and mathematics wing at Washington high. Teacher Frank Barnes says new labs with sinks and gas jets enable students to do far more lab projects in a room that's created for science work. "I'm in heaven,” Barnes said. “This is the first time in a long time, that I've been in a classroom where I can actually apply what I'm teaching in the classroom -- right there at the seats where the kids are sitting."

A cheer went up as bulldozers took the first bite out of old pre-fabricated buildings. A new auditorium, gymnasium, and academics building will be built on that site. The first of three phases in construction of the new Booker T is scheduled for completion in May 2003.

Students and staff say they love the old school, but welcome a new one. “Well, it's kind of raggedy,” said student Sahara Abraham. “We're glad they're building a new one for us.” New Booker T Principal Alice Black said, “Monday marked a tearing down, but also a building up.” Past and present students and supporters of the high school say they're proud to have a new building to reflect their school pride.

A task force formed to examine magnet school admission policies, has submitted its recommendations to Tulsa Superintendent of Schools David Sawyer. The district declined to give details of the report. Sawyer said he will review it over the next several weeks before making a recommendation to the school board.