The Denison Central Ward School in Denison, Texas was in operation from 1917 to 1979. For a short time after the school closed a manufacturing business operated in there. But for the last 20+ years the school has sat abandoned and slowly deteriorating a little more each year and eventually demolished.

Denison Central Ward School in Denison, Texas 

Central Ward School

Denison Central Ward School was built so they could consolidate the Stevens and Burleson Schools in 1917 (another sources says that the Stevens Schools was to be abandoned and the children were going be sent to Central Ward in 1927). On January 11th, 1928 the PTA (Parent-Teacher Association) opened the cafeteria. It was designed to serve 125 students at one time during the 12:00 pm lunch period. It was operated by the PTA and lunches would cost .15 cents and .10 cents. It was said this was the first installation of its kind for Denison.

Central ward School - Photo Credit: Grayson County TXGenWeb

“Linda Russell Warren mentioned that she loved the hamburgers from across the street.  Ruby and Jack were the ones that owned the store.  Also she recalled Mrs. Black as being the librarian.”

“David Maddux noticed that the west end of the building was actually two stories.  The cafeteria took up the bottom floor and the 2nd floor had two classrooms with a nurse’s station between them.  Ms. Morris’ 5th grade class was located on the north side.” – Grayson County TXGenWeb

The school was closed in 1979.

Bill Wright purchased the school over 25 years ago. He completed repairs and renovated the old building that school district and the city no longer wanted. He even removed asbestos from the building over 20 years ago. But health code requirements changed and he had to have the tiles scraped to remove the asbestos.

Mr. Wright, an mechanical engineer, operated his business from the old school for years. But was forced to shut the business down after having a stroke.

Denison Central Ward School Current Status  – Currant Status As of 2014 – 2016

Central Ward School

Over the last few years, I have seen how fast mother nature can reclaim a building. Even a strong well built brick and concrete building such as the Denison Central School is no match for time and mother nature. During my survey of the exterior and looking through the windows from my camera lens. Its in bad shape. To save this old building will take money and time. The school doesn’t have the time to wait.

Denison-Central Ward-School - 1917-1979 Denison Tx Closed Photo #4

According to one article, vandals have stolen the copper, wiring, and everything of value out of the building. The roof is in need of repairs. For more information about Mr. Wright and his story, make sure to read the article over at Denison Alumni Association.

Sadly, the city ordered the demolition of the school for safety and visual reasons during the summer of 2016. However, legal action has temporarily stopped the building from demolition. In 2018 fait of the building was sealed when the city won and the building was demolished ( I believe the building was demolished in 2018).

Today, its an empty field waiting for a modern building or more houses to fill the empty space.

Please Note: This article was originally posted to on October 1st, 2017 and updated in January 2021.The images were shot in 2014. This article will be updated as new information is gathered. If you have any old photos of the school or stories you want to share, please contact or comment below.


  • January 29th, 2021 – added interior shots from Randy Carlisle. 
  • January 30th, 2021 – added vintage photo of school
  • February 1st, 2021 – Added local accounts from the area

Denison-Central Ward-School - 1917-1979 Denison Tx Closed Photo #2
We are looking for pictures of the interior of the school. If anyone wants to share their pictures from the last 20-30 years to vintage photos of the school (students and teachers) please contact us or comment below.

About the Denison Central Ward School Images

The images were shot by hand with my Sony NEX-3N and a Sony SEL16F28 16mm f/2.8 on a bright sunny afternoon in 2014. I then edited them in Adobe Lightroom. I then post processed with Topaz Clarity to add texture, brighten the images, and bring out the details in the image. Then removed the dust spots and rain spots. I then used Topaz DeNoise to remove the noise from the image.

The interior pictures are from Randy Carlisle and used with permission. The pictures were shot from the windows and were taken back in 2010. You can check out is work on Flickr