Details for Southside School (Atlas Number 5507016941)

Historical Marker — Atlas Number 5507016941

Data

Marker Number 16941
Atlas Number 5507016941
Marker Title Southside School
Index Entry Southside School
Address 211 West Lee Street
City San Marcos
County Hays
UTM Zone
UTM Easting
UTM Northing
Subject Codes educational topics; Mexican topics
Marker Year 2011
Designations Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
Marker Location Northwest corner of Lee and LBJ Streets
Marker Size 27" x 42"
Marker Text DURING THE FIRST HALF OF THE 20TH CENTURY, SAN MARCOS, LIKE MOST COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE UNITED STATES, SEGREGATED ITS SCHOOL FACILITIES. MEXICAN-AMERICAN CHILDREN WERE FIRST TAUGHT IN A SCHOOL BUILDING PREVIOUSLY USED BY THE COMMUNITY’S AFRICAN-AMERICAN STUDENTS IN 1901. DURING THE NEXT THIRTY YEARS, STUDENTS WERE EDUCATED IN SEVERAL STRUCTURES AROUND SAN MARCOS. IN THE SUMMER OF 1948, THE CITY APPROVED A BOND THAT WOULD BUILD A NEW FACILITY FOR MEXICAN-AMERICAN CHILDREN. THAT SAME SUMMER, MEMBERS OF THE MEXICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY PETITIONED THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES TO INTEGRATE PUBLIC SCHOOLS, BELIEVING THE NEW SCHOOL BUILDING WOULD PERPETUATE SEGREGATION. IN SPITE OF THIS PROTEST, SOUTHSIDE SCHOOL WAS COMPLETED IN 1949. DESIGNED BY HARVEY P. SMITH OF SAN ANTONIO, AND BUILT BY J.M. ODOM CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, THE SCHOOL WAS BUILT OF VERTICAL CELL CLAY TILE WITH A STUCCO-LIKE APPEARANCE. THE SEVEN-CLASSROOM SCHOOL NOT ONLY EDUCATED STUDENTS, IT EVENTUALLY HOUSED PROGRAMS DESIGNED TO PROVIDE ALL CHILDREN WITH OPPORTUNITIES FOR SUCCESS REGARDLESS OF THEIR HERITAGE, ECONOMIC STATUS, HOME LANGUAGE, OR DISABILITY. THE SCHOOL ALSO PROVIDED ADULT EDUCATION CLASSES AT NIGHT, INCLUDING AN ENGLISH LANGUAGE COURSE. IN 1965, THE SCHOOL’S NAME WAS CHANGED TO BONHAM. THE FOLLOWING YEAR, IT BECAME ONE OF THE FIRST SCHOOLS IN TEXAS TO OFFER A BILINGUAL EDUCATION PROGRAM FOR STUDENTS, REGARDLESS OF RACE. IN THE 1980s, BONHAM SCHOOL BEGAN TO EDUCATE EXCLUSIVELY FOR PRE-SCHOOL AGED CHILDREN AND ADOPTED A PROGRAM FOR CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES IN THE 1990s. SINCE 2009, THE BUILDING HAS HOUSED THE CENTRO CULTURAL HISPANO DE SAN MARCOS COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION.