BLAST THROUGH THE PAST

Looking through the old issues of the Bear Facts can bring back a lot of memories.

Did you know that you can own your very own copy of the Bear Facts beginning with issues from 1945 and ending with issues from 1985.  We do not have them all, but we have over 3000 pages of memories for you to stroll down memory lane.  To get your very own copy you must first become a member of the foundation.  To do this go to Join/Renew Membership and click on Join Foundation.  You can either join for one year at $20.00 or pay $300.00 to be a lifetime member.  Once you have done that, click on General Store and order your DVD or Thumbdrive to start your trip down memory lane.

Below is the first of six articles that appeared in various addition of the Bear Facts.
Come back next month to read the second article from the 70’s.

Volume 15-Number 9
March 20, 1964
By:  Karen Lumpkin

The Bear Facts staff gleaned some unusual and little-known facts about the Spring Branch school system.  Issues of the Bear Facts dating from 1949 provided the source for this interesting and sometimes amusing information.

In September of 1949, Superintendent H. M. Landrum announced that the total enrollment in Spring Branch schools had reached 1037 (this is approximately the amount attending Valley Oaks Elementary ion 1964).

The Bruin Brigade made its first appearance that same year at a football game between the Bears and the Hempstead Bobcats.  Their brand new uniforms consisted of eight-gore white gabardine skirts, blue and white yacht hats and blue sweaters with white letters.  The 58 pioneer Brigadiers were led by the present hard-working sponsor, Miss Dodd (now Mrs. Elkins).

Thirty students responded to the first call for band.  The first marching band, a 52 member unit complete with uniforms, appeared in the fall of 1951.

The first fieldhouse was a government surplus building from Camp Wallace.  SBSHS was then a Class B school and our chief competitors were Orchard, Sealy, Cypress, Katy, and Magnolia.

Until 1955 Senior classes took an end-of-the-year trip – usually to a dud ranch near Bandera, Texas.  They had to stop the trips because the classes got too big.

Some of the clubs active then extinct now, were:  Wrestling, Folk Dancing, Hunting and Fishing, Photography, Stamp and Archery Clubs.

Last year Spring Branch took the state championship debate trophy.  We have come a long way since a debate team from Reagan High School exhibited debating procedures to prospective students in 1950.

The early yearbooks contained both the junior and senior high students and camp out in September with the previous year’s activities in it.

Those students still cherishing fond memories of the film version of “hamlet” will be surprised to note that English classes in 1950 saw the very same film starring sir Lawrence Olivier for 74 cents.

In the spite of changes, the humor of the past years indicates that it at least has remained essentially the same.  The following appeared in an early issue Bear Facts:

“The Junior stood on the railroad track, the train was coming fast;
The Junior stepped of the railroad track, and let the train go past.”

“The Senior stood on the railroad track, the train was coming fast;
The train got off the railroad track, and let the Senior pass.”

The excavator has taken a bite out of the Spring Branch Education Center’s long horizontal wing, the one that fronts Westview and has been the façade for SBEC – and Spring Branch High School before it for more than 50 years.

Still standing when’s the claw’s work is done will be the auditorium and library from Spring Branch High School, part of the original façade that was removed from public view when the two-story classroom wing fronting it was opened in 1958.

And when the dust settles on construction in late 2016, that auditorium and library will be the historical pieces that tie SBHS to reconstructed wings for Cornerstone Academy and Academy of Choice – two of Spring Branch ISD’s schools of choice – and a two-story cafeteria and community room on the property’s west side that will form a courtyard between the two wings.

The district is working closely with the Spring Branch Senior High School Association, keeping the alumni group apprised of details and plans for the renovations.

Demolition and site preparation work started earlier this summer but on the wings and buildings behind the long, brown-brick façade on Westview that most identify with SBEC and SBHS.

That building coming down marks the end of one era and the genesis of another. The new facilities will be tied to the past through the auditorium and library, which will house the Spring Branch Senior High School Museum, a collection of artifacts from the district’s, community’s and high school’s past.

Saved will be the mosaic bear from the main entrance, and the large stuffed Kodiak bear behind glass near the auditorium.

The mural painted by Altharetta Yeargin above the entrances to the auditorium will be preserved as well.

Former superintendent Duncan Klussmann recognized the importance – historically and culturally – of the SBEC facilities and when it came time for work to proceed as part of the 2007 bond program, administrators and trustees were able to find more money to renovate the facility.

Original work called for replacement of HVAC systems and other improvements that are necessary but aren’t visible. By adding some $12 million to the already committed $16 million, the district is able to rebuild wings for two of its choice schools while preserving a piece of its history.

While modern in materials and appearance, the new wings and the cafeteria will include visual cues that link it to the mid-century style prevalent when the Spring Branch Senior High School building opened in 1952. The high school itself was opened in 1949.

Brick Pathway Sale has ended!!!!

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If you ordered your brick you will soon be part of the most distinctive feature of the new Spring Branch Education Center, the Alumni Foundation brick pathway.