South Oak Cliff Students Are Getting an Almost New School, But Their Temporary Home Is a Source of Tension

Markell Hall remembers when he was sent to Dallas ISD alternative school Village Fair as a freshman after getting in trouble for being a class clown. It wasn’t an appealing place.“It felt like a jail,” he said.When DISD starts classes back up from its winter break on Tuesday, South Oak Cliff High School students will be temporarily relocated to Village Fair while its campus undergoes a $52 million renovation.But some of the same persistent kids and tight community that tenaciously wrangled an almost new school out of DISD officials is in an uproar over their temporary home. The scope of the renovations, and the move to Village Fair itself comes after fierce debate between SOC’s alumni and parent groups and the school district.On Monday, Hall -- now a co-director of South Oak Cliff’s band -- spent a teacher in-service day and several hours over the break making sure his students get a better impression of Village Fair than he did. After the district used more than $2 million to revitalize the halls and rooms at the former shopping center along Interstate-35, the space felt like a new Golden Bear home.  Continue reading...

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