BUDA — It was a gloomy, wet morning on Monday, July 24, when the Buda towers began to fall.
Burke Excavating Inc. of Tampico, the company hired to demolish the east and west towers at Bureau Valley South, started demolition at 7 a.m. sharp.
The east tower, which had been condemned last year was the first to go. An excavator worked carefully to remove the cement Buda Grade School sign that framed the front entrance of the former school building before it tore into the brick walls. While the sign crumbled into a couple pieces, it was laid gently off to the side and was salvaged from the wreckage.
The activity attracted small gatherings of residents from the Buda area and throughout the district. Some parked out front of the school and watched the demolition from their vehicles, while others sat in lawn chairs or stood outside on the lawn of the school. A couple men on a golf cart even drove up to watch from the street.
A few teachers from the district were there to see the activity. One teacher watched as her former classroom crumbled to pieces. Another one mentioned how sturdy the building seemed, despite it being declared unsafe a year ago.
Superintendent Eric Lawson was on sight and stood with the teachers and residents and answered questions from the contractor.
Buda residents who live in the homes across the street from the school sat out in their driveways or on their porches watching as the skyline changed with each falling wall of the near century-old building.
Bureau Valley School Board hired Burke Excavating at a cost of $295,395 to tear down the towers. The board made the decision to salvage the middle portion of the school, which includes a gymnasium, cafeteria and a few classrooms. Mobile classroom units have been brought onto the Buda campus and setup on the north parking lot of the school. The units will house Grades 3 through 5 this coming school year.
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