Before Mission High School’s now-demolished Eagle Cafe became the Eagle Cafe, it was the school library. ELA academic coach Mindy De La Rosa said her last memory in the then-library was watching the Twin Towers collapse in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001.
Now, a gap sits in the middle of MHS where the cafe and cafeteria used to be. Demolition for the renovation project began in June, and the Eagles’ Future Farmer’s of America have big plans for the rubble and remains – MHS memorabilia.
Parts of trees, doors, brick and fans have been recrafted into items such as pens, pen holders and various sizes of Mission High School’s iconic “M” logo. The items, most of which were made by the students, will be auctioned off at the FFA syndicate barbecue Sept. 5 at Mission Community Center.
“I’m proud to be doing this since all of my family members have graduated from Mission,” FFA Vice President Brianna Saenz said. “It feels kind of nice, since it was kind of hard for them to see it demolished, to save those things so they can buy them at the auction.”
The items won’t have any set price when the auction begins, FFA Advisor Benito Garza said. There will be silent auction, live auction and door prizes for attendees, but not all the items will be renovated MHS products. The FFA chapter collected a limited amount of materials from the site.
Since early July, the FFA students began their memorabilia projects, doing a few hours of work every day in their unairconditioned agriculture barn. The proceeds will go to the FFA chapter to help fund its end of the year banquet, and a portion of the money will go toward a teacher appreciation luncheon during National FFA week.
De La Rosa and MHS head volleyball coach Edna Clemons already have their eyes on a few of the artifacts. The 1980s Mission High graduates recalled their time as students on campus. De La Rosa said she remembers when the trees that were torn down were small and freshly planted. Clemons reminisced about doing homework in the space that was also used as a study hall.
“I do have several pictures I’ve been sharing because they’re memories,” Clemons said. “That’s why I’m happy that our ag. teachers are creating this memorabilia because I want one. I’ll see it on my desk and I’ll know exactly where that was.”
When the Mission High School location on Cleo Dawson was first built in the mid 1960s, there was no cafeteria, according to MCISD spokesperson Craig Verley. Students either ate off-campus or brought their own food. When Clemons and De La Rosa were students, they had open campus and said most of the students ate elsewhere. Now that that the campus doesn’t allow students to leave on their own for lunch, the cafeteria has to hold more than 2,000 people.
De La Rosa said that she has been on the committee advocating for a new cafeteria for the students. She admits that it’s bittersweet seeing the buildings come down, but said it’s time for the new.
“We’re steeped in tradition. We love Mission High School; all of us bleed maroon,” De La Rosa said. “So watching it go down is a difficult thing because those are our memories and are people going to remember that? But we will.”