Demolition of the former Emeline Carpenter Elementary School on Leroy Street is underway.

Nacogdoches ISD moved into a new school – also named Emeline Carpenter Elementary – last summer. Construction of the state-of-the-art campus was paid for by a bond proposal overwhelmingly approved by Nacogdoches voters in 2018.

The new Emeline Carpenter Elementary is located on SE Stallings Drive, less than a mile away from the Leroy Street location.

“The old Carpenter building had long ago outlived its ability to provide a safe and effective campus to educate students in Nacogdoches,” said NISD Superintendent Dr. Gabriel Trujillo. “That’s one of the main reasons voters strongly supported the bond election in 2018.”

Earlier this summer, contractors removed all asbestos from the building to prepare for demolition.

“Over the years, our Plant Services staff spent time, effort and money to keep the school in as good a condition as possible, but there was only so much that could be done. The school district could not leave a vacant and worn out building in the neighborhood; it wouldn’t be fair to the residents who live nearby.”

The former Carpenter campus located at Leroy Street opened for Black students in 1964 at a time Nacogdoches schools were still segregated.

Born in 1884 in the Post Oak Community, Emeline Carpenter began teaching in that rural area of Nacogdoches County after attending Bishop College (then located in Marshall) and Prairie View College, now known as Prairie View A&M.

Carpenter’s name was first affixed to a Nacogdoches school in 1954, soon after E.J. Campbell High School opened on Shawnee Street. School officials at the time named the elementary campus that remained on the east side of Shawnee for Carpenter, and her name then moved to the Leroy Street school in 1964.