September 15, 2017 - One could not drive past the Timpson ISD campus complex this past summer without noticing the renovation and construction projects going on there. In fact, though school has started, the biggest of these projects is still going on, with completion scheduled for mid 2018. Dr. Mid Johnson, TISD Superintendent, spoke to the Timpson Area Genealogical and Heritage Society on Sept. 13 to point out the many separate projects underway and how they all fit into TISD's plans for the future.
The genesis of much of the change at TISD was the troubling fact, revealed by a demographic study, that while the number of THS grads who entered college was about average, the number who finished college was well below the state average. To make matters worse, Dr. Johnson revealed that “in the last ten years, not one THS graduate identified as disadvantaged has completed a four year degree.” The centerpiece of the district's construction program, the Collegiate Center, is intended to address that issue.
Dr. Johnson maintains that the percentage of THS graduates who finish college will be significantly improved by students' ability to earn college credits through dual credit and advanced placement courses which will be offered in the Collegiate Center, being constructed to the south of the football field. Further, economically disadvantaged students will have the ability to complete college credit courses while still living at home, thereby reducing the expense of attending college. He believes that a student who enters college with most of his or her freshman courses completed is much more likely to continue on to graduation. To ensure the success of the Collegiate Center, TISD has hired faculty members who have experience in setting up and managing a Collegiate Center. Dr. Johnson says that the number of students enrolled in THS could grow from its approximate current 150 students to about 180 as students from surrounding districts are drawn to these programs. The resulting increase in state funding would essentially pay for the Collegiate Center over time. The Collegiate Center will even feature a multi-purpose auditorium with a UIL compliant stage, with the old auditorium remaining in place.
The Collegiate Center will also have facilities for vocational programs, with welding slated for some time in the future. TISD vocational programs will also be improved with the new Ag Shop. A new Band Hall is being built and Technology and ISS will move into the old Bus Barn when renovations are completed. A new Bus Barn is under construction at the south end of McLoughlin Street. The elmentary school has received a new floor and ceiling and the elementary playground is being moved to a location behind the old Ag Shop, allowing elementary students to go the the playground without having to cross McLoughlin Street. An impressive new masonry sign with an electronic reader board has been built on the corner of Bear Drive and McLoughlin Street.
Athletic facilities are also being improved. A new gymnasium is under construction as well as a new softball field. The old gym will remain.
Dr. Johnson said that Timpson holds a special place for him. Although he attended Gary schools, both of his parents are THS alumni and he remembers frequent visits to Timpson while he was growing up, including seeing movies at the Fox Theater. He stated that his children are Timpson Bears, through and through.
TAGHS meets in the Meeting Room of the Timpson Public Library, located on the corner of Austin and Bremond Streets, at 2pm on the third Wednesday of each month. The public is invited.