Local pastors, school leaders, and members of the community gathered together today at Oscar Duconge Park for a memorial vigil in honor of G.W. Carver Middle School.
On the morning of July 27, the school caught fire causing extensive damage.
At the vigil, the community prayed over the staff and students, shared memories and plans moving forward.
“I believe in the power of prayer, and for this to occur tonight, it’s hard to put into words how great I feel leaving this place this evening,” principal Isaac Carrier said.
Since the fire, Waco ISD and Transformation Waco have been partnering to relocate the students and staff of G.W. Carver to Indian Spring Middle School.
Pastor Gaylon Foreman has mentored at G.W. Carver middle for over 20 years.
“I’d tell parents a lot of work is being done behind the scenes preparing for the school year, and we’re ready for a great school year,” Foreman said. “The students are in good hands, and we’ll do all we can to help students succeed.”
The schools have decided on a new motto from the movie Drumline.
“We are speaking the same message: It’s one beat, one band, one sound,” Principal Carrier said.
Principal Carrier says even though the building is gone, they are the school.
He said they’ve been overwhelmed with support.
“I’m not just talking about the monetary contributions,” Principal Carrier said. “I mean the words of encouragement, people stopping by asking if they can help in any way, and it just doesn’t stop.”
He said it’s been great to see the community come together for their school, and he asks that they stay together.
“Let’s not separate and go back to our respective corners and wait until the next thing comes,” Principal Carrier said.
Last week, the Waco ISD school board called a bond election for November 2. This bond would issue $355 million to build four new school buildings.
That includes a new G.W. Carver Middle School built in the same location as the old campus.
A community advisory committee had recommended replacing G.W. Carver middle school with a new, larger building before the fire.
If voters approve the bond on November 2, construction for a new G.W. Carver Middle School could begin in April 2022, and the new building could open as early as August 2023.