Grand Lodge of Texas will dedicate cornerstone
The cornerstone of Salado Middle School will be dedicated by State officers of Grand Lodge of Texas, A.F. & A.M. and local members of Salado Masonic Lodge No. 296 in Salado. The ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. Aug. 15 at Salado Middle School located at 1189 Williams Rd. in Salado.
Superintendent Michael Novotny will act as emcee for the ceremony. Huckabee, Inc., the architectural firm from archute that designed the 130,000 sq. foot Salado Middle School, will have Will Smith on hand at the ceremony. Lee Lewis Construction is the general contractor on the project and will also have representation on-hand for the ceremony. Salado Middle School principal Ted Smith will make remarks during the ceremony.
Walter S. Rogers, Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Texas A.F. & A.M. will act as Grand Master for the ceremony of dedicating the cornerstone.
The entire ceremony will be held within the Salado Middle School cafeteria. While the public is invited to come to the ceremony, social distancing and mask requirements will be enforced.
Following the ceremony, small groups may tour the Salado Middle School facility for an early look at the school which will open to students on Sept. 8.
Salado Middle School is approximately 130,000 square feet. It has 24 academic classrooms which include four science labs, and two multipurpose lab spaces.
The building also contains four fine arts classrooms to include a band hall, a choir room, and two art classrooms. The cafeteria has the capacity to seat 500 people for performances and the capacity of 350 students with cafeteria tables for lunches. For lunches, we will also include the outdoor patio as an option for students which will increase our cafeteria capacity to 400.
In the athletic wing of the building, there are two gyms, a weight room, three boys locker rooms, and three girls locker rooms. The competition gym will seat approximately 700 people and the secondary gym will seat approximately 200 people.
The cornerstone laying ceremony is an ancient tradition popular in the United States since the Colonial days. The Freemasons, whose origins are the medieval stonemasons, continue this tradition as a public service.
The cornerstone laying ceremony symbolically uses the tools of the operative Mason to bring a special message of faith in the craftsmanship of a new building. This tradition is a wonderful way to begin the life of a new building.
The oldest cornerstone ceremony in Salado was conducted by the Grand Lodge of Texas and Belton Masonic Lodge #166 on July 4, 1860 for Salado College on South Main St. That cornerstone was “re-leveled” by the Grand Lodge of Texas on July 4, 1990 when the ruins were restored by Salado Historical Society by Tim Brown on behalf of the Robertson Colony-Salado College Foundation.
The Masons of Texas also leveled the cornerstone for the Old Red Schoolhouse on Main St. in 1924. In 1995, when the schoolhouse was restored, the Masons of Texas re-leveled the cornerstone there as well.
In 2008, the cornerstone of Salado High School was leveled, as the most recent ceremony in Salado.
Freemasonry is the oldest, largest and most widely recognized fraternal organization in the world. Today, there are more than 2 million Freemasons in North America alone.
Charity is an important tenet of the Masonic fraternity. Each year, Salado Masonic Lodge provides more than $5,000 in college scholarships to Salado graduates. The local Lodge also adopts the second grade at Thomas Arnold Elementary, providing more than $1,000 in back-to-school supplies to economically disadvantage children here. The Lodge also buys bikes and helmets for economically disadvantaged children in Salado each year.