When Spring Branch Senior High School alumni return for their biennial reunion the weekend of Oct. 21, many will be seeing their old school in a new light.
For starters, the building itself is new – kind of. The original entrance façade is now visible from behind the classroom wings facing Westview, wings that were demolished and rebuilt as part of Spring Branch ISD’s 2007 bond program. Behind the façade is the original school auditorium, which got a facelift during the renovation and rebuilding.
And many alumni will walk up to the new building for the first time on a brick walk – the “alumni pathway” – installed as a fundraiser by the Spring Branch Senior High School Alumni Association.
And they’ll get to see, for the first time, the Spring Branch Senior High School Museum in its new space, the former SBSHS library, with its glass walls and winding steel and terrazzo staircase, repurposed during the renovation specifically for the museum, including floor space for the mosaic bear from the former building’s entrance. Bruno the Bear has a new home as well.
“We’re very appreciative of (SBISD),” said Della Sivley Mousner (’53), founding curator of the museum. We’ve waited a long time for this space.”
VIPs and lifetime alumni association members will be treated to a museum preview soiree the evening of Friday, Oct. 20, before the museum opens to the public the next day. An official ribbon-cutting ceremony will highlight the Saturday festivities.
“(The preview evening) is a way to say thank you to our lifetime members as well as VIPS who helped make this happen,” said Sherry Roberts Williams (’74). She added that anyone buying a lifetime membership before that Friday will be invited to the soiree. “We’ve already had some people do that,” she said. Memberships are available at the group’s website at www.springbranchbears.com.
Mousner started a scrapbooking project for SBSHS to keep memories alive after the school was closed in 1985. Memorabilia and artifacts started pouring in, more than Mousner could store at her home.
SBISD offered up the band room at the former building, and Mousner and other alumni board members displayed as much as they could in the cramped quarters. The room was also off the beaten path, so to speak, and was difficult to open to the public.
So when SBISD was getting ready to do work at the former high school, repurposed by the district as the Spring Branch Education Center and which houses a number of functions, the district expanded the project’s scope from largely mechanical and system upgrades to one of transformation.
And the museum got its larger, more accessible space in the former library.
Alumni board members have been busy setting up the museum, dressing mannequins in blue and white Bruin Brigade, marching band, cheerleading and other uniforms, stringing streamers along the stairway handrails and putting up other displays.
Former SBISD Superintendent once said that the museum is more than the history of Spring Branch Senior High School – it’s the history of high school in Texas.
A flag football game the evening of Saturday, Oct. 21, pits SBSHS alumni against a “smorgasbord” of players from other SBISD schools, Williams said.
“It’s old people versus old people,” she said. “We’ll have an ambulance standing by.”
For more information about the reunion weekend, go to www.springbranchbears.com.
Friday, Oct. 20
Museum Preview for Lifetime Members
Saturday, Oct. 21
All Day – Alumni store, building tours, mingle with classmates
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. – Museum grand opening and ribbon-cutting
6 p.m. – Alumni Flag Football Game (Grob Stadium)
Admission: $10 adults; $5 children (12 and under)
Video from 2015 SBSHS All-Class Reunion