Growth continued, and in 1966 a third teacher joined the staff and the north wing was added to the original building. When school began in the fall of 1968 there were 67 students and 4 teachers.

By the fall of 1970, 5 teachers were required to meet the steadily increasing enrollment. In March, 173, the community held and passed a bond issue of $170,000 to build a new 10-classroom building and to purchase additional land to increase the campus size. The building was completed in the spring of 1974 and was named the Estelle Spurgin Elementary School in memory of the beloved educator who had passed away a little over a year earlier.

Lovejoy’s status as a Common School District meant continuing financial problems as the tax rate was tied to the low county rate. A Special Bill in the Texas Legislature finally allowed Lovejoy and other common school districts to set their own rates in 1975. At last, the growth of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s could be dealt with.

In September 1978, the State Legislature abolished all common school districts and Lovejoy became an Independent school district.

By early 1979, additional facilities were needed to relieve existing congestion, to handle the projected increasing enrollment, and to meet the increasingly stringent facility requirements of the state.

After an initial proposal failed, a second bond referendum of $785,000 for ten classrooms and a gymnasium passed. As part of the construction project, the Spurgin building was remodeled to increase the administrative area and make it more efficient, to incorporate a teacher workroom, and to enlarge and improve the school library.

During the summer of 1983, due to efforts of School Board member Marcie Moseley, the school was designated a "State Historical Site" by the Texas Land Commission. An appropriate plaque decorates the front of the original "red schoolhouse", detailing the school’s history.

In early 1984, it again became evident that continued enrollment would require expanded facilities. In May, a bond referendum for $975,000 was passed. Construction of 12 new classrooms and a new cafeteria began in late September.

As enrollment continued to increase, two projects, a new library and clinic, as well as ten classrooms, a workroom, and lounge were completed on the west side in 1993 and 1994.

In 1998, Lovejoy I.S.D. voters overwhelmingly approved a $6.5 million bond for the construction of a new elementary school which was completed in August of 2000. It is located at the southeast section of Country Club and Estelle Lane. The new school is named Joe V. Hart Elementary. It was dedicated on August 27, 2000.

Lovejoy Independent School District rates among the best in the state. The schools remain the center of the community. In an area when it has become fashionable to replace the old with the new, Lovejoy citizens appear adamant that the "little red schoolhouse" will remain intact as a symbol of their heritage and ideals.



Joe V. Hart was born in Millcreek , Oklahoma in 1906 and moved to Texas where he attended Forest Grove School and Lovejoy School after it opened (1917).

As a local farmer and carpenter, Mr. Hart had several notable projects in the Lucas area such as the Forest Grove Christian Church, the Forest Grove Store, which he owned and operated, and the rebuilding of Lovejoy School after the 1958 tornado.

Mr. Hart served on the School Board for 22 years, from 1949 until 1971. Indeed, Lovejoy remains a thriving district in large part due to his vision and countless hours of dedicated service to the school, children and community. His wife, Donna, shared in his service to our boys and girls.[1]

[1] Hart Elementary Web Site



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