The Austin ISD Board of Trustees at its April 22 Regular Voting Meeting approved the renaming of Eastside Memorial Early College High School to Eastside Early College High School.
As part of the district’s 2017 Bond Program, Eastside Early College High School and International High School—both currently located at the Johnston Campus—will open at a new permanent site this summer, at the Original L.C. Anderson High School.
The Original L.C. Anderson High School served as Austin’s only Black high school for more than 80 years until it was closed in 1971 during desegregation. And though it has been closed for 50 years, it remains a vital presence for the community.
“We all looked forward to going to L.C. Anderson High School. We had pride—in the education, the teachers, the athletics, the band,” said L.M. Rivers Jr., a 1969 graduate and current president of the Old L.C. Anderson Alumni Association. “As young kids, we all were a part of seeing the activities there and we couldn’t wait till we could be a part of that. It was the heart of East Austin, well known near and far.”
When the modernized school for Eastside and International High School students opens at 900 Thompson St., the presence of L.C. Anderson High School will be unmistakable. In addition to several historical re-creations of the original structure, built in 1953, the new school will have dedicated community space and an exhibition gallery for the original L.C. Anderson Alumni Association to host meetings and lead public tours.
“The new school is a community campus,” said Eastside Principal Miguel Garcia. “It belongs to all of us.”
The school will also feature three corridor displays devoted to capturing the legacy of the school. The grand opening of the new campus is scheduled to overlap with the 50th anniversary of the school closing.
Barbara Spears-Corbett, Class of 1970, described how the high school brought together the entire Black community in East Austin. She said she hopes today’s students will feel that connection to the past as they start their own futures.
“Any program that was held at Anderson, we all showed up. People were surprised, especially when the faculty was integrated, they were surprised that the whole community would show up to see the program,” she said. “That’s the sense of pride and community that we’re hoping that, as Eastside comes to that campus, that students feel this and build on it.”