At the recent reception for the Old Red Schoolhouse exhibit at the Central Library, artist Pete Fernandezreceived a standing ovation from the more than 100 guests. Fernandez has been a longtime advocate for the arts and history in Irving. Her art work as well as her volunteer efforts have benefited several organizations and projects in Irving and Dallas, including the Irving Heritage Society, the Irving Art Association, the Entertainment Series of Irving, the development of Heritage Park, Main Streetprojects and the Frank Reaugh Art Club.

The reception also included the recognition of 17 former Old Red students. A painting of “Old Red” by Fernandez is the centerpiece of the exhibit, which runs through late fall.

Built in 1913 by the Irving Independent School District, Old Red remains a special memory in the hearts of many, according to Mary Higbie of the Irving Heritage Society. Built in 1913, the three-story, red-brick building cost $15,000. Because the building didn’t have water, students had to walk across Second Street to the old water tower for a drink of water. A few years later, water fountains were installed on the first floor.

Old Red served as the school for various grade levels over the years. By the late 1950s, the building was outdated and no longer used for classroom instruction. It was demolished in 1959.

The society and the Irving Archives Department hosted the reception. Visit

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