The Midlothian ISD Board of Trustees is considering a donation of the old Irvin Elementary gymnasium to the Midlothian Historic Gym Project to be repurposed as a community recreation center.

Former board of trustees president Duke Burge spoke on the transfer during the public hearing portion of the trustee’s meeting Monday evening at the L.A. Mills Administration Complex. Having shut down the building previously due to plumbing falling into disrepair, Burge explained that former board decided that the district no longer needed the building. However, they did choose to preserve the structure for future use.

“It’s just gorgeous,” Burge said. “It deserves to be saved.”

To save the gym, Burge and other residents formed the Midlothian Historic Gym Project, a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to preserving its history. Burge said the project plans to bring plumbing and electric into compliance before reopening it as a community recreation center for residents young and old.

“The gym floors are in remarkably good shape,” Burge explained. “We’ve got what is going to be several meeting rooms. We’ll have a full kitchen. Think of the Civic Center, but a little bit larger.”

After the nonprofit gets a signed letter of approval from the board and a certificate of occupancy, Burge said the group is going to start fundraising to beautify the gym.

Burge said they’re aiming to fundraise $300,000.

“This building is special to me,” Burge empathized. “It’s one of the first outside dates I had with my wife other than going to dinner and a movie. I love that building. I hated when we had to shut it down.”

Place 1 Trustee Carl Smith said it would take approximately two years to fully transfer ownership of the property from the district to the nonprofit. The board closed the public hearing after listening to closing remarks.


The trustees also voted on a variety of action items before their executive session.

The board unanimously approved the second quarter 2018 Demographic Report, the delivery and installation of tables for J.R. Irvin Elementary for $30,000, and selected Place 7 Trustee Andrea Walton and Place 2 Trustee Gary Vineyard as the representative and alternate respectively for the National School Board Association’s Advocacy Institute in January next year.

Additionally, the board unanimously approved setting the maximum price of $12,649,938 for the construction of the W.G. Roesler Athletic Complex at Midlothian High School, a $22,562 decrease from the budget. The complex is expected to open in July next year.


David Dunn, @DavidDunnInTX