Ribbon Cutting Marks Re-opening of Davidson Hall

During a March 9 ribbon cutting with the San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce and the Kyle Chamber of Commerce, San Marcos Academy celebrated the re-opening of Davidson Hall, the SMA Lower School building, which underwent a renovation from the foundation up.

lower school
San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting

Davidson Hall: key features

As designed by Balcones Architects, PLLC, and managed by general contractor S.B. Thompson Construction, the building boasts a security vestibule for secure access. It also houses a computer lab, ten classrooms, three offices, a teacher workroom, and a library that features a light design created by artist Tim DeJong of the Wimberley Glass Works studio. Each classroom in the building has a large window and contains state of the art lighting and technology to better serve the 98 students currently enrolled in grades K-5.

At the ribbon cutting event, the Academy Color Guard posted colors and fifth grade students recited a passage from the book of Proverbs. On hand to celebrate with Academy administrators were Dr. Ruth Welborn, chair of the Board of Trustees; Billy Belcher, vice chair of the Board; and Board members Judy Renick and Dot Renfrow. Jana Rodriguez and Robin Nunez of Balcones Architects, PLLC, and Scott Thompson and Sidney Thompson of S.B. Thompson Construction were also on hand for the event.

ribbon cutting
Kyle Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting

History of davidson Hall

Davidson Hall was one of the last buildings to be completed on the Academy’s Ranch Road 12 campus and was first dedicated in the fall of 1985. At the time, it was a Military Science Facility for the Junior ROTC program, including classroom and office space, a rifle range, a supply room, a barber shop, and other features.

In 2004, the JROTC transitioned into a voluntary rather than a required program for Academy boys, and the number of participants declined. In order to better utilize the space in Davidson Hall and to keep Upper School students in one building during the school day, the military classroom and JROTC offices were relocated to the main academic building. This freed up Davidson Hall to serve as home to the SMA Middle School. 

In 2017, when the Academy added elementary grades to their academic program, Davidson Hall became headquarters for the Lower School. However, the tremendous growth of the K-5 program in the following two years made additional classroom space a necessity. The SMA Board of Trustees approved a complete renovation of Davidson Hall, and construction began in the spring of 2020. The building was completed in January of 2021, allowing K-5 students to begin the spring semester in their beautiful new classrooms. 

Open House on April 11

Those interested in learning more about the Lower School are invited to attend an Open House at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 11. This event will include a tour of the new facility and of the campus. Please call the Admissions Office at 512-753-8000 or email admissions@smabears.org to register for the Open House and to learn more about enrollment at SMA.

Update for October 12, 2020

Work on Davidson Hall has been moving quickly in the past few weeks. The fencing around the perimeter has come down as crews shift more to indoor work. Here are some projects going on this week:

·         Painters will continue applying first coat of paint this week.

·         Roofers are finishing the new roof on the portion of the building that used to house the rifle range (see photos).

·         Tile is almost complete in the girls and boys bathrooms (see photos)

·         Oak material for furr downs and reception area has been received.

·         Quote on HVAC was anticipated by today.

Some projects slated for next week include the following:

·         Installation of oak, interior doors, windows, and grid ceiling will begin on Wednesday or Thursday.

·         Painting will be going until sometime Tuesday or Wednesday.

·         HVAC will get in early next week to install the flex duct in furr downs and offices (where not already installed).

·         Trying to get demolition started on Monday on the retaining wall.

Update for July 9

Lots of activity at Davidson Hall this week, as sheet rock is up, doors and interior windows are being installed, stucco is being applied to the exterior, and tracks are being laid for one of the rounded fur-down areas in the front hallway. The building is definitely taking shape!

Update for June 19

During the trying months since the COVID-19 pandemic began, construction at Davidson Hall has steadily continued. Work crews have been able to meet several key deadlines, and our contractor has done all he can to keep us on schedule. Despite his best efforts, however, the pandemic has affected the availability of workers and subcontractors. Additionally, some of the companies providing products and materials were temporarily closed due to the pandemic, creating delayed deliveries. As a result, the building will not be completed by August 1 as originally planned. The contractor now anticipates that construction will continue through September. 

 While we are all disappointed by this turn of events, we are fortunate that the classrooms in Derrick-Wolfe Hall are still available. Thus, we will be stationing our Lower School students in Derrick-Wolfe Hall when school begins on August 10. A task force for health and safety guidelines has been formed and we will release the reopening guidelines as soon as they are available. 

Once Davidson Hall is completed and ready to occupy, we will schedule a time for teachers to move in and set up their classrooms. This may require us to cancel Lower School classes for a few days. We will let families know as soon as possible what that schedule will be so they can plan accordingly. 

 Let us remember that the floors and walls of Davidson Hall are covered in Scripture, thanks to those parents, teachers, students, and staff who came out in April to consecrate that space. May we continue to trust in God and in his perfect timing!

Update for June 17

Classrooms are beginning to take shape at Davidson Hall as foam insulation has been applied to the framing and sheet rock is being installed. Also in progress is the installation of a/c duct work, additional framing, some exterior masonry, and pouring of the steps and sidewalks.

View the photos below for a peek at what is going on, inside and outside.

Update for May 18

Progress continues on the construction of Davidson Hall. Following are some projects that have been completed recently or are currently underway.

  • A new steel beam has been installed to allow us to remove poles that would have been in three rooms.
  • Interior framing will be completed this week.
  • We have passed inspection on plumbing and electrical.
  • The installation of the fire sprinkler system has begun.
  • Exterior work will begin by pouring the footing for new exterior facing.
  • Windows have been installed.

Our doors are always open to new students

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