High school damaged by smoky blaze

June 12-15, 1962 Fire, breaking out about 4:15 a.m. Saturday, did extensive damage to the second floor of the Brady High School building. Chemicals in the storage room of the science laboratory ignited and smoldered for several hours. city Policeman Arlyn Brown, making his patrol, spotted the blaze in the window in the southeast corner of the building and turned in the alarm. “The second floor was so full of smoke you could hardly find the fire,” said Fire Chief Joe McAnally. “It had been burning a long time. If it had ever got into the roof, the building would have been gone.” Brady volunteer firemen put the blaze out quickly, but it was after 6 a.m. before they finished their work. Supt. C. A. Reynolds this week was trying to clean up his office, located on the second floor and was waiting for the insurance adjusters, expected sometime Tuesday. A preliminary estimate set the damage at more than $10,000. “The whole upstairs is covered with a greasy, acid film’the walls, the ceilings, the desks. The upholstered furniture is ruined. Every room will have to be repainted. It will take all summer,” Reynolds said. “This building is fairly fireproof, but I guess it could have been worse.” How the fire started cannot be determined, although it was confined to the laboratory storage room. A circular hole, about 2 1/2 feet in diameter, was burned in the wooden wall partition behind the shelves of chemicals and supplies. The storage room has one window, “and we try to keep it cracked a little for ventilation, but it was closed after the fire. I guess it got closed while we were cleaning up and closing the school at the end of the year. Luckily we have an inventory of everything,” Reynolds said. * * * 300 sign petition to send Dunbar students to BHS About 300 persons have signed petitions asking the Brady School Board to call an election to abandon the high school at Dunbar and transfer 21 students of high school age to Brady High. Dunbar would be maintained, however, as an elementary school for about 70 children. Supt. C. A. Reynolds said the board “would like to have about 500 signatures.” The petitions are located at Rawlings Grocery, Gray’s Fine Foods, City Drug, Rudder Drug, Archer Sporting Goods and are being circulated by several individuals. Members of the school board met Monday night with parents at the Dunbar school to explain the problem. The parents were assured that the Dunbar community would be able to keep its teachers in the elementary school and that Dunbar seniors would be able to graduate next year, even if they are transferred to Brady High. A recent visit of an accreditation committee from the Texas Education Agency has left the School Board with the problem of providing adequate facilities for Dunbar’s high school students’or risk loss of accreditation for the entire Brady school system. To build the minimum facilities at Dunbar would cost an estimated $135,000’plus an additional $16,000 a year for four more teachers there. Rather than vote a bond issue and raise taxes, the School Board has chosen to transfer Dunbar’s high school students to Brady High. As an elementary school, Dunbar then could meet the state’s accreditation standards. The board doubts that a high school cold be maintained at Dunbar for more than four or five years, “in view of the federal government’s activities in integration,” said Reynolds. The board’s plan also would save Dunbar as a school and would save the jobs of four of its teachers. Under state law, however, the school board cannot transfer the students of Dunbar High to Brady High by its own order. That must be done by a vote of the people in the school district, and the board cannot call the election without a petition from the voters. Once the petition is presented, the board must call the election within 60 days. * * * Saving seen on lake, but costs could rise The City may save about $400,000 out of the original bond issue of $1,485,000 authorized for construction of Brady Lake, an audit of the lake fund shows. Balser & Davidson, Fredericks-burg public accountants, warned, however, that several items still pending could run up the cost before the lake is completed. The auditors’ report also shows that since 1958 the city has authorized $11,000 for expenses of its Water Advisory Board in doing preliminary research work on the lake plans. The total includes $1,000 advanced June 3, 1958 to a water committee of the Chamber of Commerce. The funds have been used for promotion of the lake, travel expense, test holes and damages, easement expense, telephone, office expense and legal fees. “Items of expenditures were supported by invoices and other documents with the exception of various items labeled travel expense,” Balser and Davidson’s report says. Regarding the possible $400,000 saving out of the bond issue, the report said the figure cannot be conclusive “because of numerous contingencies unresolved at this date (June 6).” The construction contract “is based on unit prices, the units of which cannot be definitely determined before completion. The contract has been revised twice to date. The engineering fee and the amount of the Soil Conservation Service’s participation in the project will depend on the amount of the construction contract. Other items of cost still undecided are the Simpson Lake dispute, the moving of three and a half miles of REA lines on the site, and the acquisition of two county roads. * * * Country Fair offers bathing revue, too “Miss Waubansee of 1962” will be introduced during a bathing revue contest when the Country Fair is being held Saturday at Waubansee near Camp San Saba. Judges, who will be from out of town, will select the first, second, and third-place winners. Adults will be in charge of pony rides for the young boys and girls, and the fishing pond will provide entertainment. Visitors to the fair will have an opportunity to make purchases from the “Stop and Chat Country Store.” A large selection of home prepared jams, jellies, pickles, relishes and many other products will be for sale. Mops, brooms, homemade table place mats and other useful home items are included in the Country Store. * * * PERSONAL MENTIONS Girl for Guy Silers Mr. and Mrs. Guy Siler, 1906 S. Walnut, announce the arrival of a baby girl, Stephanie Shirl, weighing six pounds, six ounces, born at 1:38 p.m. June 7 in Brady Hospital. * * * Senior Class President Bob Beakley, son of Mr. and Mrs. O. C. Beakley of Route 1,Mercury, has been elected to serve as president of the 1962-63 Senior Class at Abilene Christian College. A 1959 graduate of Rochelle High School, Beakley is a business-education major at ACC.

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