Its rehab almost finished, the 111-year-old Davy Crockett School in East Dallas can now be yours

OutsideCrockett

Published: 12:15 pm on February 17, 2014.

By:A�Robert WilonskyA�

Four years ago Crockett looked like a decaying, abandonded haunted (school) house. Today it almost looks brand-new.

Four years ago (this month!) it looked like the 111-year-old Davy Crockett School on Carroll Avenue in East Dallas was a goner despite its designation as a Dallas landmark. The building, vacated by the Dallas Independent School District in 1989, was a trash-strewn target for taggers; calling it an eyesore was an insult to other eyesores. (See the video below.) Briefly used for administrative offices, the district eventually sold it (for cheap a�� 239,000 whole dollars) to Ken Good, who promised a redo without getting too specific about its future use.

Turns out, the 50,000-square-foot structure, with 27 classrooms, could be anything at this point a�� yours, even.

A peek through the front door of Davy Crockett

Good says the redo is about 80 percent finished: It has a new roof and a new electrical system, and a centurya��s worth of wear has been removed from the exterior. And, he says, ita��s this close from landing a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. (Good even had to have the windows remade to look like the originals, no small task.) All that remains on the to-do list: painting the interior, staining the floor and installing HVAC. Those tasks wona��t be completed until a new tenant moves in.

a�?Wea��re just waiting for the right user to come along, whether thata��s a lease or a sale,a�? says Good.

He says hea��s spoken with about 20 would-be tenants about a variety of possible uses, ranging from residential to a charter school. KIPP Public Charter Schools was in talks to move in to Davy Crockett, says Good, but ultimately decided to look elsewhere a�� south of Interstate 30.

a�?I told them Ia��d give it to them for a song and a dance,a�? says Good. a�?But the problem with a charter school is the neighborhooda��s almost too nice. They want to be where the schools are so bad parents are lined up to get their kids in, so the schoola��s fully enrolled by day one.a�? (Coincidentally, DISD is also looking to reopen two currently closed campuses while repurposing others in Far East Dallas.)

At one point, he says, the historic school house a�� the first built during the districta��s self-proclaimed a�?early expansion eraa�? that lasted from 1900 through 1929 a�� looked like it might become an arts center of some kind, or perhaps even an art school or a nursing school. But for now, a lease-or-sale sign remains affixed to the gym, where, on Saturday afternoon, workers were still coming and going.

Crockett as it looked about a century ago — and as it more or less looks today (File photo)

a�?We just havena��t found the right fit yet,a�? says Good, who adds that he was more or less cajoled into buying the school by preservationists who wanted to make sure it didna��t crumble into nothingness as a result of demolition by neglect.

a�?When I bought it, I didna��t really do much due diligence,a�? says Good. a�?I was shocked to find the bones were in good shape. Ita��s amazing how well built it is. It has a two-foot-thick foundation on it. Ia��ve done a number of downtown buildings, and Ia��ve never seen a building as solidly built as that thing. When I first went to see the building, and I fell in love with the architecture. It was one of those if-you-build-it-they-will-come type of deals.a�?

Incidentally, Crockett was added to Preservation Dallasa�� Most Endangered List in 2010 a�� along with the Statler Hilton and 508 Park Ave., both of which are also being resurrected.

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