I have a couple of announcements that should interest readers of this blog. On Tuesday afternoon, I attended a meeting with Dr. Charles Dupre, Superintendent of Fort Bend ISD. He led a discussion with several local residents about the school district's plans for Lakeview Elementary and the old Sugar Land Auditorium.
I'll summarize his points very briefly since I'm sure we'll have more on this in the future:
- FBISD will not close Lakeview Elementary. In fact, they will renovate the school to a degree yet to be determined, but the result will be an active, thriving school.
- Renovations may involve reworking existing buildings, or maybe replacing them with new ones built in a suitable architectural style.
- The gym, dating from 1932, will remain.
- The development of Imperial Market will result in changing demographics for the area surrounding Lakeview, so there are solid reasons to keep the school in operation.
- The Auditorium will be preserved. The relevant issue is transferring ownership to the City of Sugar Land, which is better equipped to handle historic preservation of the structure.
- Almost everyone recognizes the Auditorium's historic significance and wants to see it return as a hub of community life.
If you hear rumors that the school will be closed, or that the district will not expend funds to improve it, you can quash those rumors with this information. The district will put a bond proposal before the voters in 2018. It will include upgrades for Lakeview Elementary based on community consultation. I'll have more on this in the future.
The second item concerns the Sugar Land Heritage Museum and Visitor Center, which will open later this year. The City hosted a ceremony on Thursday morning (May 31st) marking the countdown on these new developments.
The museum and visitors center will be located above the Children's Discovery Center in Imperial Market. (I'll post design sketches in the future.)
Last but definitely not least, Martin Nicholas, Chairman of the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation's board of directors, announced that Larry Johnson, President & CEO of Johnson Development Corp., donated $150,000 to the SLHF to fund the museum's opening exhibits. Mr. Johnson's donation comes before the SLHF has formally launched a capital fundraising campaign, so it is as timely as it is generous. Thank you, Mr. Johnson!
Sugar Land's mayor and city council begin work on the museum & visitors center.