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City News

Posted on: January 31, 2018

Buda Back in the Day - Buda Elementary School

Buda High School Students-Sign

This time around we are profiling Buda Elementary for "Buda Back in the Day."

Times may have changed, but the memories are still fresh for Paula Green-Michaud and her cousin Larry Ferguson.

"It just gives me a sense of joy to be back on campus. I have very good memories of all my days here at the school,” said Green-Michaud. 

Both Green-Michaud and Ferguson attended what used to be Buda High School. Today it is Buda Elementary.   

“I remember going to school here and everybody knew you by a first name basis. You knew every teacher and if you did something wrong your parents knew it. After you got paddled at school, you got paddled at home. That is the way it was,” said Ferguson. 

Built in 1929, the historic campus replaced the original Buda High School after it was destroyed in a fire.  
“I started the school in 1956 when I was five-years-old. My parents paid for me to start first grade here," said Green-Michaud. "They actually paid because my birthday was on the 12th. In order to qualify to be a student here you had to be born on or before the first of September. ”  

The campus served as a high school, junior high, and elementary school. 

The L-shaped building on campus was the junior high, the old brick building was the elementary school, and the main historic building was the high school.    

The original cafeteria burned down and was rebuilt. 

At the heart of campus was the auditorium, which now serves as the Kunkel Room.  
“There was a wooden floor. The floor slanted and there were stairs in the very center of the stage. There was a very heavy maroon curtain," said Green-Michaud.  “Any big deal occurred here. If the teachers needed to talk to the entire school for any reason we came to the auditorium."

Some of the conveniences we take for granted today, would have been considered a perk back then. 

"There was never any air conditioning and nobody suffered because we did not know any better," said Ferguson.   

Teachers also took a more hands-on approach when it came to discipline.   

"My Science teacher always had an eraser or two with him and it would go sailing if he saw somebody sleeping," said Ferguson. "The boy in front of my cousin ducked and it hit her right in the face.”    

Ferguson graduated from Buda High School in 1967. He vividly remembers the brutal football practices. 

“Bob Shelton was our coach and he was a great believer in explosion. There were 99 steps going down the hillside. We would run the steps 10 times every day, we would hop them like a rabbit five times every day, and then we would find somebody our size and be required to carry them up the hill five times every day.”

The gymnasium was moved to campus from Camp Swift in Bastrop where it served as an airplane hanger.
Every summer the City had a fireman's ball in the school gymnasium. 

"It was like a sock hop. Everybody would support the fire department."

At the time, school activities played a major role in Buda.  
”On Friday evenings we would have the pep rally and someone could have robbed a bank. Everybody was here for the pep rally and encouraged the boys to play hard,” said Ferguson.

Green-Michaud graduated in 1968 as Valedictorian. Some 40 years earlier, her mother Ada Ferguson graduated as Valedictorian of the 1927 Buda High School class. 

Green-Michaud was a member of the very last class at Buda High School.

On May 6, 1967, the Buda, Kyle, and Wimberley districts were consolidated into the Hays Consolidated Independent School District. 

“The Spring of 1968 when we graduated was the end of Buda High School per say. The new school begin in the fall of 1968 and everything was Hays High School.

The Buda school was used as the junior high after the consolidation and high school students attended classes in Kyle. 

Today, things have come full circle with another change on the horizon. Hays CISD is constructing a new Buda Elementary campus on Old San Antonio Road. 

District officials say the plan to keep the historic portion of the current campus intact. They will seek public comment in the coming months for ideas on how to use the school.    

Both Green-Michaud and Ferguson would love to see the school's history on display.

"I think some type of museum or some type of historical monument to the people who made this place a fine place,” said Ferguson.
“There are a lot of memories that need to be preserved. This is a very special place and to us it is almost a sacred place,” said Green-Michaud.   

You can watch the video version of Buda Back in the Day here: Buda Back in the Day - Buda Elementary

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