|| This site commemorates a significant civic and business leader. Georgia native Stephen J. Hay (1864-1916) migrated to Dallas in 1887 and became an executive of the Texas Paper Company. He served eight years on the Dallas Board of Education and in 1907 was the first mayor elected to a new mayor-council government that replaced the ward system. Hay was reelected in 1909, and as mayor he and four commissioners oversaw major city projects, including the first city plan, designed by George Kessler; passage of a bond election to help establish Southern Methodist University; and construction of White Rock Dam and Reservoir, the Houston Street Viaduct, and a new city hall, hospital and fire stations. Hay took a leading role in the development of modern Dallas and was later prominent in banking, insurance, and the chamber of commerce.
Stephen J. Hay Elementary School, established here in 1921, initially consisted of frame classrooms and outhouses. A bond election paid for a new 16-room brick schoolhouse in 1926 planned by architect Thomas J. Galbraith and built by contractors Spearman and Sons. Galbraith designed residences and churches in Dallas, and schools in Royse City, Hillsboro, Coleman and Cuero. The Hay School building is a two-story red brick building with a center block and flanking wings, prominent Tudor Revival entrance, cast stone panels and quoins, and multi-light steel windows.
The school was designed to accommodate 400 students, but enrollment dwindled to less than half its intended capacity by the 1960s. The school operated below capacity until 1978, when it became the site of Dallas I.S.D. offices. The building was later the first campus of the Irma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School. (2007)