It’s been about four and a half years since Selwyn families awoke on a Thursday morning to find their beloved school in flames; the main building on the private Denton campus set ablaze.
The fire was eventually ruled an arson and, though a person of interest was named, the incident still remains open, and so does the turmoil it left behind at the school.
As a completely private college prep academy, Selwyn is self-funding with no state or government dollars.
The school and their donors were essentially left on their own. Many classes and school functions had to be relocated into temporary buildings that just felt more and more permanent as the days went on.
Plans were made and their appeared to be light at the end of the tunnel last May when school leaders, students, and alumni gathered on campus and broke ground on a new building to finally put an end to the tough chapter, but that ended up being short lived.
Board of Trustees Chairman Monte Jensen said the complexities of the fund raising process coupled with reconstruction issues quickly made the construction a risky undertaking at their budget, and they pulled the plug in March.
“We just made a determination to at least put a pause on construction here while we looked at what all of our available options were,” said Jensen.
So, nearing their 60th anniversary, the future sits a bit unclear for Selwyn.
However, Jensen said they are now optimistic with new options coming to the table.
An anonymous donor has come forward offering to help the school’s finances, but it comes with some changes.
The largest would be relocation from the edge of Denton on Highway 380 to a more central location, where Jensen said they could become a more convenient option for perspective families.
“They’ve brought in some consultants to help us look at how we really do things,” said Jensen, “to help us find the best suitable location for our school.”
Jensen said they hope to keep that in Denton, or at the least close by, but the process is still early.
For now, Selwyn remains at its current location with enrollment for next year underway. Unfortunately, Jensen said they’ve had to suspend their early childhood program while they figure out their financial situation.
“We had to make a difficult decision,” he said.
However, with a path starting to form for Selwyn, Jensen said he’s confident the school has a lot of life ahead; though it may look a little different.