FROM RADIO STATION
TO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
The KDNT sign in January, 1988, on the corner of Teasley Lane and Wheeler Drive
All good things must come
to an end, and that can certainly be said for KDNT. After 55 years
of serving the people of Denton and beyond, KDNT signed off the air in
1993. During that time, the station had five different owners and
four different locations. The station's final home was on Teasley
Lane in south Denton. The station's towers were relocated there in
1960, followed by the studios in 1981. At the end of 1993, the station
was sold one last time, and, three months later, the call letters were
forever changed. The land at Teasley Lane sat mostly vacant for the
next 12 years (although successor KICI still operated an office there through
the mid-1990s.) By 2005, the studio building was falling down and
filled with mold. A large hole in the roof didn't help matters, either.
The Denton ISD came along and purchased the land for construction of a
new elementary school in October, and, over the last part of 2005, the
KDNT studios and towers were demolished. Construction of the L. A.
Nelson Elementary School began early in 2006, and was opened to students
in the fall of 2007.
The towers are down! But they didn't go down without a fight when contract engineer Andy Pickard
and his crew accidentally set the field on fire with a cutting torch!
Boy, this was a tough one to look at. A bulldozer had been driven into various walls of the building, looking more like someone's game than a serious demolition. Filing cabinets and desks full of paperwork were lying open and scattered all over, along with chairs, telephones, transmitter logs, even personal effects. The radio equipment had been stripped away, likely years before when KICI relocated their studios. The two control room photos (second from the top of this set) was where your webmaster read news and played 'board operator' 17 years before. There were some carts still in a rack near the ceiling that someone obviously overlooked. They're now in the webmaster's collection, along with some of the station's paperwork that was once of great importance, but left sitting carelessly amongst the rubble.
Not much progress on the building, but the realtor's sign had been removed,
and the towers were conspicuously missing from the skyline. The concrete
rubble (two photos up) was from the demolition of the FEMA building at the
back of the property.
Another month later, concrete driveways had been poured, and construction of the school's facia and spire had begun.
Three weeks later, the brickwork is already up, and one building looks to be near completion.
Nearing completion, the property just needs a good exterior cleaning.
Ring the schoolbell, it looks like everything's ready for class!
by Harwell V. "Sandy" Shepard II and Mike Shannon, (C) 2001-2010
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