Hawkins ISD holds grand opening for new buildings

It was a big day for a little 2A East Texas school district, as they opened a new ag facility and band hall, thanks to a surge in student interest and achieveme
Published: Nov. 12, 2023 at 5:28 PM CST
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HAWKINS, Texas (KLTV) - A big day for a little 2A East Texas school district as they open a new facility, thanks to a bond issue, and a surge in student interest and achievement.

And it all may have started, with bees.

Staff with Hawkins ISD were on hand to greet the public for the grand opening of their new ‘Ag building’ and band hall facility.

“A perfect building that will accommodate all of our students needs, the shop space is just really unbelievable, our community we can’t thank them enough for making this happen,” said Hawkins Ag teacher Matt Byrd.

“We needed a facility to really take our program to the next level. What can we do to make the kids competitive in the areas they want to grow? And that’s this facility,” says Hawkins ISD superintendent Susan Morton.

Made possible through a school bond issue in 2019, the spacious building was desperately needed as the schools student FFA participation has more than tripled, and were working out of cramped spaces.

“Our program has grown tremendously over the past several years, we were really busting at the seems in our old facility and just needed the space. 2017 our enrollment for FFA was 75 students, this year we turned into 274. Now we have a new livestock center, 15-thousand square foot. We have a surgical room in there. We’ve got a honey processing facility now,” Byrd says.

The participation is linked to the success of the students who began the ‘4-G’ bee keeping club and received national attention for their efforts in producing honey.

“Hawkins will be forever the front runner for that as well,” Morton says.

More important, the new buildings will help with passing on trade skills and life skills to students.

“A lot of Ag mechanics in this program and they realize the importance of trade and what it’s going to be able to do for these kids,” says school board president Blake Warren.

“They are going to have real workforce experience,” says Morton.

Around 200 people turned out for the grand opening Sunday.