A grand celebration ceremony on Sunday starts at 2 p.m. in the Jeff D. Cody Arena at Cleburne High School, marking the official completion of the construction and renovation projects at the campus, made possible with the passage of Bond 2016.
The landmark bond referendum approved by voters dedicated $122 million for the construction of a new academic high school, located on the existing campus, and the renovation of the Career and Technical Education Center and former main building. The new high school and remodeled Career Center fully opened to students in January 2019, followed by the completion of the Jeff D. Cody Arena in August 2019.
The 2020-21 school year opened with excitement as CHS students took their first steps into the new learning spaces and labs created for them in the transformed former main building which now serves as a Career and Technical Education/Fine Arts facility and the new home of the Janice Evers TEAM School.
The final project, the creation of a new exterior entrance for the Don Smith Performing Arts Center, and the remodeling of the lobby, is now complete.
“This will be one of the biggest days in Cleburne ISD history, as we celebrate these amazing facilities,” Superintendent Kyle Heath said. “We are very excited to have the community be a part of this dedication. They chose to make all of this available to the students of Cleburne ISD in approving the 2016 bond referendum. Our community made this possible.
“While the new Cleburne High School is now in its second full year of operation, I am still in awe every time I walk in.
“We continually hear from students, parents, staff and visitors of that first ‘impressive’ impression when they enter the building. And it just builds from there as you move through the school, join the fans in the Jeff D. Cody Arena and the baseball and softball complex and now, experience the new CTE/Fine Arts facility.
“Our citizens have given CHS students for many years to come with an educational environment with programs and opportunities that are second to none.”
Doors to the arena, located on the south side of the campus, will open at 1:15 p.m. for those attending the dedication ceremony. Self-guided tours will begin at 2:45 with the front, student and CTE (east parking lot) entrances also accessible to visitors.
“We have been looking forward to this day for a long time and it will be wonderful to celebrate and share what has been achieved — for kids — with our parents and community stakeholders,” school board President Elizabeth Childress said. “We are so proud of our new high school facilities. It’s great when someone tells me, after visiting the campus, that they would love to be a CHS student just so they can experience all this. They are so impressed, and like us, very proud. I can’t wait to hear from alumni and their impressions of the renovated main building. They won’t believe their eyes.”
Students in many of the Career and Technical Education programs will be in attendance during tour time to showcase the training and skills they are receiving. More than 95 percent of CHS students are enrolled in at least one CTE class.
“We hope our parents and community members will join us on Sunday and take advantage of the opportunity to tour the campus,” Heath said. “I encourage them to wear comfortable shoes, because they will definitely do some walking, with a total of 600,000 square feet to explore.
“There is so much to see, from the new Black Box Theater and remodeled band and choir halls to the library media center, the Sting Bistro and multiple CTE classrooms and labs.
“From our academic spaces, art gallery and athletic facilities to learning labs for future diesel technicians, dental assistants, health professionals and aeronautical engineers, Cleburne High School reflects our district’s mission to create an engaging and innovative educational environment for every student.”
The dedication ceremony will be livestreamed on the NFHS network at no cost to viewers. The access link will be posted on the district website, c-isd.com, and social media.