The Friendswood Schools Museum will have its official ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday, Oct. 20 at 4:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served. The museum is located at the site of the first building for Friendswood Schools at 208 Spreading Oaks in Friendswood.
The building originally opened in 1939 and housed both elementary and secondary students. It later served as the “old building” at Friendswood Junior High. Once the new junior high opened by Centennial Park on FM 518, the building became part of the FISD Annex.
The ribbon cutting event is during the 2016 Homecoming events. The museum will be open to the public Oct. 21-22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.
Volunteers have been working for months on the museum. Collecting items, doing research, cataloging items, and much more have kept the group busy as they prepared for opening.
The group consists of former FISD personnel Ed and Marilyn Beken and Anna Felts as well as alumni Cheryl Hatcher Bouillon, Judy Ballard Connors, Terrie Beicker Biediger, Pam Weaver Rogers, Laurie Chennault Burkett, Carolyn Beicker Siems, and current Friendswood High School Librarian Pat Torrefranca.
The group will be honored by the FISD Board of Trustees for their hard work at the museum at the Oct. 10 meeting at the Administration Building.
A soft opening at the museum was held in June during the All Class Picnic that was held in Stevenson Park. Many alumni made the short walk from the park to the museum to check out the memories stored now in the museum.
The new museum offers a sitting room at the entrance. This room will be used by the district for meetings and in the future will be available to rent for reunions or other special events.
Of special interest to many alumni is the fine arts room in the museum. The area includes a small stage with original auditorium seats and can lighting as well as mementos from various high school musicals. A quilt handmade by an alumnus while at FHS is on the wall displaying the first 20 musicals performed on the campus.
Formals from past homecoming queens and football sweethearts are on display in another room with athletic letter jackets that date back to 1948. Band group photos, athletic teams, trophies and plaques adorn this room. The only FISD girls basketball team to win third in state has not only photos and uniforms on display, but also their state plaque.
A typical classroom from the 1950s is on display in another room of the museum. Old desks, a world map from the 50s, teacher’s desk as well as Big Chief tablets are all part of the class. Area muralist/artist Kathy Hammond painted radiators and lockers on the walls.
The Class of 1997 will be having their 20-year reunion and a special area of photos and memorabilia will be on display.
Museum volunteers continue to ask for items to be donated that represents 1940 until current times.
Items the group would like to have but are not limited to are the following items: photographs (identified and dated If possible but not mandatory), class rings, letter jackets and sweaters, uniforms, trophies, awards such as medals or pins, game balls, pom poms, band instruments, Homecoming crowns and gowns, programs and diplomas, yearbooks, and teaching aids.
Donated items can be anything that provides an historical view of school.
Items to be donated can be dropped off at Friendswood High School at 702 Greenbriar in Friendswood. For more information or any questions about donations contact FHS Librarian Pat Torrefranca at 281-482-3413, ext 6557.
“Friendswood, as a City, has such a rich history. It seems only natural to also collect, organize and display school district-related items for generations to come,” FISD Superintendent Trish Hanks said.
It was Hanks who brought the museum idea to the Board of Trustees last year.
Story by Karolyn Gephart