On January 6, 2020, students returned from Christmas Break to find the St. Mark’s campus slowly returning to normal. Crews have been working tirelessly to repair and restore the buildings affected by the tornado on October 20, 2019.
The day after the All-School Christmas Party, demolition teams began the process of removing the Thomas O. Hicks Athletic Center, which was declared a total loss following the storm. A pair of excavators carefully and precisely dismantled the gym and adjoining locker rooms and offices, safely bringing the building down. The resulting pile of rubble has been slowly shrinking as crews continue to sift through and remove the debris.
Perhaps the most welcome sight was the fully-restored Chapel bell tower. As December began, a web of scaffolding rose around the tower and the Chapel’s north and south sides. The School was able to reorder bricks from the original manufacturer, resulting in a nearly seamless restoration. Crews have nearly finished work outside of the Jim Livengood Choir Room, repairing the walls and rebricking its exterior. Roofers have also been hard at work repairing most of the buildings on the north side of campus, including Nearburg Hall, the Chapel, the Green Library, and the Fine Arts Wing. And, while Decherd Performance Hall and the Black Box Theater remain closed, they have almost been returned to working condition and events are already scheduled for later this month. While there is more work to be done across campus, from continued roof work to repairs to the Roosevelt Family Chapel Organ, the progress already made is simply incredible.
“A feeling of gratitude and humility has pervaded the campus in recent weeks,” Eugene McDermott Headmaster David Dini told the community just before Christmas Break. “There is an ever-present recognition of how fortunate we are to be part of such a special community. There is also meaningful appreciation and empathy for the families, homes, and businesses that were so significantly affected by the storm. The fabric that binds our city together has been strained, and yet, it has become stronger.”
St. Mark’s School of Texas is a private, nonsectarian college-preparatory boys’ day school for students in grades 1 through 12, located in Dallas, Texas. St. Mark’s aims to prepare young men to assume leadership and responsibility in a competitive and changing world.
St. Mark’s does not discriminate in the administration of its admission and education policies on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin.