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Part of History will Move on with Time
Written By Maggie Anderson Eddy - Editor

The schools in La Porte date back to 1944 when the Hurricane of 1943 blew away the top floor of the high school leaving what is now the La Porte Junior High. As La Porte has grown, schools have been built to cover the educational need of our children. Below is the history of the three schools covered in the bond election.

Lomax Elementary, located at 10615 North Avenue L, has been serving the children of the Lomax area for the past 36 years. The school located on 15 acres opened in August 1978 as a result of two school bond programs—the first in 1974 for $1.2 million, and the second in 1976 for the same amount. Renovations have been made to the 94,600-square foot building twice over the years. “Excellence is the Expectation” is the slogan at the 530-student campus, which serves students in grades kindergarten through five.

All sixth graders in La Porte ISD attend Baker Sixth Grade Campus, located at 9800 Spencer Highway. The school was named for James H. Baker, who served La Porte schools for 26 years, first as a teacher and later as principal of La Porte High School and superintendent of schools. The facility was originally established as an elementary school in 1963; it was the first fully air conditioned school in the district. In 1969, the junior high area was added. In 1981, the building became a junior high school with sixth, seventh and eighth grade students, and in 1993, became a sixth grade campus serving all district students. The 139,000 square-foot building is situated on 26 acres. A total of 544 Baker Bears are enrolled at the school for the 2013-14 year.

Thousands of La Porte area residents have graduated from La Porte High School since it was built in its current location in 1960. The district purchased the 44.8 acres on J Street, now known as Fairmont Parkway, in 1959, and after completion of the new facility, the former high school located on Broadway became La Porte Junior High. The facility of over 400,000 square feet is situated on 44.8 acres near Galveston Bay and houses students in grades 9 through 12. Over the years, the high school was expanded to include the theater, basketball gymnasium, swimming pool, vocational building, student center, band hall, field house and classroom building. During the most recent 2005 bond issue, voters approved the construction of a new Physical Education Center on the campus as well as renovations to the Sonja Angelo Theater. The motto of the La Porte Bulldogs is “Honor, Integrity, Pride.”

$260 Million Bond Election for La Porte Independent Schools

written by Maggie Anderson Eddy

The La Porte School district has a lot of schools that have just outlived their time and efficiency. On February 25, 2014,the La Porte Independent Board of Trustees, after an extensive study and review of our places of learning, adopted an order to present the problem to the voters of La Porte in the form of a $260 million improvement bond election. A citizens bond development committee, consisting of parents, business leaders and citizens who researched, surveyed and evaluated the different campuses, met to evaluate what would bring our school system up to a competitive level with the surrounding districts. The proposed projects include construction, renovation, repairs and additional equipment to address both educational and safety/security needs.

The proposed 2014 bond package will include facility replacement, major renovation, major rebuilding of 3 schools, maintenance, upgrade in technology and transportation for all campuses, and other district-wide improvements. The following article is a summary for each campus explaining most of the proposed improvements and cost.*

Bayshore Elementary - (originally built 1966) $1,500,000

Heritage Elementary (built 2007) $1,500,000

Jennie Reid Elementary ( built 1981) $1,950,000

Rizzuto Elementary ( built 1984) $1,500,000

DeWalt Alternative ( built 1999) $1,000,000

The above campuses along with every campus in the proposal will include the following: security system upgrades for security lighting, card readers and cameras. Upgrading of the fire alarm systems along with ongoing capital improvements, interior and exterior. Perform technology, intercom and fire alarm system upgrades.

La Porte Elementary (built 1999) $2,800,000

*Renovate classrooms including science lab and library

*Provide new Chiller

College Park Elementary (built 1969) $7,000,000 **

*Replace roof, exterior window glazing, and exterior waterproofing building sealants, and damaged brick and domestic boiler

*Improve site drainage

*Renovate restrooms, art room, library and selective classrooms

*Replace gymnasium

*Modify parking and drive and drop off canopy

**College Park has extensive upgrades, replacement and repairs. We are only listing the major problems. Go to
www.lpisd.org for other improvements.

Lomax Elementary (built 1976) Replacement $17,500,000

This major rebuilding project will include the destruction of the present campus and the rebuilding of a new learning center and gymnasium. Lomax provides an education facility for the Lomax area for kindergarten to the 5th grade. This school has major ongoing foundation issues (see picture). The new campus will include up-to-date technology along with up-grades in safety and technology.

Baker 6th Grade (Built 1963) Replacement Cost $20,000,000

Baker will be demolished and replaced with a new campus. Baker has major underground plumbing and electrical problems, asbestos in the walls of the first built section along with ongoing foundation problems. The new facility will include new classrooms, new gymnasium and a running track around the existing football field. Baker is the only campus that hosts all 6th graders from the La Porte Independent School District.

La Porte Junior High (built 1944) $15,000,000

* Renovate corridors, student restrooms, dance and art room and library, upgrade lightening

*Replace 2 gymnasiums and locker rooms

*Expand nurse’s office

*Provide 10 LED information panels and construct new learning courtyard

*Expand concrete parking

Lomax Junior High (built 1986) Replacement cost $4,500,000

* Renovate 6 science labs, entrance and administration offices, art rooms, student gallery and information boards

*Upgrade stage lightening, band hall and sound systems, teachers work station

*Provide electronic marquee, 10 LED information panels

*Resurface existing track

La Porte High School (built 1960) $75,000,000**

*Demolish and replace existing classrooms, science labs, fine arts wing, PE gymnasium, pool building, vocational and support spaces

*Renovate classroom wing B, kitchen and cafeteria, administration, field house to accommodate all football programs

*Construct new multi-purpose center to provide a competitive court, locker rooms, weight rooms and support spaces, state of the art career and technical education area.

For security reasons, the connection between different building and locations will be housed under one roof.

** Campus wide renovation: $12,100,000 - Fine Arts: $7,100,000 - Athletics: $26,300,000 - Vocational Education: $7,800,000

The bond contains other cost like Projected inflation, $22,000,000, Project Soft Cost (land survey, professional fees, permitting, city fees, inspections, furniture and equipment, printing and other cost beyond the construction contracts) $25,750,000, Contingency $6,000,000 and Ongoing instructional technology, maintenance and transportation $ 57,000,000.

The anticipated maximum tax rate for the bond does not exceed 12 cents per $100 valuation. For a household with a 20 percent option homestead exemption offered by the District, the projected monthly tax increase for a $50,000 home value before exemption would be $2.50. For a household with a $150,000 home value, it would be $10.50; for a $300,000 home value, it would be $22.50. Homestead property owners who are over 65 or disabled will not experience any tax increase as a result of the bond.

For more information concerning the bond, conceptual plans for the schools, and the bond’s effect on property taxes, go to
www.lpisd.org and click on “2014 Proposed Bond” under the “Quick Links” section.

 

 

 

 

Household Hazardous Waste Day Scheduled For April 5th
A household hazardous waste collection day is scheduled for April 5, 2014, at the Public Works Service Center, from 9am - 1pm. What they will be accepting: brake fluid, paint thinner, paint, cleaners with acid or lye, pesticides or herbicides, household batteries, car batters, pool chemicals, motor oil, oil filters, antifreeze; household electronic waste such as computer monitors, televisions up to 27” screen, computer CPU’s, keyboards, printers, cellular phones, etc; white goods such as refrigerators, stoves, washing machines, water heaters; tires up to 20” off the rim; flammables and corrosives and propane gas cylinders up to 5 gallons. For more information on transporting your materials and on the event in general please visit
www.laportetx.gov/hhwday2014!

Basic Citizen’s Police Academy Starts September 2, 2014
The next Basic Citizen’s Police Academy will start Tuesday, September 2 at 6:30 p.m. at the Herbert F. Freeman, Jr. Police Administration Building at 3001 North 23rd Street in La Porte. Past classes have included topics such as Animal Control, Bomb Explosives, D.O.T. Truck Inspections, Investigations, S.W.A.T., Crime Scenes, and Gangs. Classes take place each Tuesday for 15 weeks. An application and approval is required prior to attending the Basic class. All residents and past residents of La Porte are welcome to join. If you are interested in attending the class you may contact the Support Services Division at 281-842-3174 or 281-842-3183.

 

 


 






 


Advanced Citizen’s Police Academy Starts May 20, 2014
The next Advanced Citizen’s Police Academy will start Tuesday, May 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the Herbert F. Freeman, Jr. Police Administration Building at 3001 North 23rd Street in La Porte. This class will be the first to include the Citizens On Patrol (C.O.P.) classroom training. Make plans now to attend both classes and then make an application to join the La Porte Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association and become a member of the C.O.P. team. If you are interested in attending the class you may call 281-471-2141 or contact Officer Jeff Tippit at tippitj@laportetx.gov .



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