Energy Savings

PEC presents more than $34,000 in rebates to new Buda middle school

Plus, read about the school namesake's fight to desegregate local schools

Last month, PEC presented Buda’s Dr. T.C. McCormick Jr. Middle School with a check for energy-efficiency rebates totaling more than $34,500. The facility was constructed with an energy-efficient HVAC system as well as efficient interior and exterior lighting. All in all, these features are expected to save Hays ISD more than $20,000 per year, which they can put toward educational programs.

New school named for Buda doctor who delivered 1,600 area babies, desegregated schools

When Dr. T.C. McCormick Jr. Middle School opened its doors for the first time this year, it already had strong ties to the Buda community through its name. Thaddeus Charles McCormick Jr. (1919 -2012) was a local doctor who served as the area’s only pediatrician from 1946 to 1959 and delivered more than 1,600 babies in the area over the course of his career.

Black-and-white photo of Dr. T.C. McCormick sitting at his desk.
Dr. T.C. McCormick Jr. delivered more than 1,600 babies in Buda, served on the local school board and worked to desegregate Buda schools.

“He could tell you how many babies he delivered in a house that you might pass or whatever. He took such pride in the accomplishments of the children he delivered. Particularly if it dealt with education,” John McCormick, the doctor’s son, told Time Warner Cable News.

McCormick served in the army during World War II and settled in Buda soon afterwards, where he took over an existing family practice. One of his first actions there was desegregating the facility’s waiting rooms, which were marked for “whites” and “colored.” When he was told by a nurse that it couldn’t be done, McCormick told her, “I intend to do it. Color means nothing.” When shocked white patients told him they wouldn’t come back, he smiled and told them, “We’re sure going to miss you.”

Soon after, McCormick purchased an old army officers’ hospital ward from Camp Swift in Bastrop and had it moved to Buda, where he remodeled it to serve as the area’s first hospital. Before then, people in the community gave birth at home, without access to proper prenatal and medical care. McCormick even learned Spanish to ensure he could serve all his patients equally.

When the city of Buda was incorporated in 1948, McCormick became civically active, serving on its first city council. He joined the board of the Buda School District in the 1950s and soon pushed his fellow board members to desegregate the schools, convincing them one by one that it was the right thing to do.

“Doc had a belief that all people are the same, no better than the other,” McCormick’s wife, Jerry, told Hays ISD staff. The couple was married for 70 years and had four children.

Editor’s note: The information in this story came largely from a program distributed at the Dr. T.C. McCormick Jr. Middle School ribbon cutting. An Aug. 12, 2016, article on Time Warner Cable News’ website titled “Buda Middle School Names After Storied Central Texas Doctor” was also referenced.