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Posts published in “Day: June 15, 2006

New Highlands Junior School to be built despite high bids

HIGHLANDS—After months of meetings and an expected $2.7 million cost overrun, construction of the new Highlands Junior School is expected to begin next week.

David Fluker, director of facilities and construction for Goose Creek CISD, said that Morganti of Texas construction company is supposed to begin work on June 20. The construction timeline has the school being ready for occupancy in October 2007.
Fluker said that students would use the current building for the start of the 2007 school year, then move into the new building as soon as it is completed.

The new school will be approximately 167,000 square feet and will house 1,024 students. By comparison, Highlands Junior is roughly 140,000 square feet and holds just over 800 students. The current gymnasium is expected to be used for the new campus. There has been some discussion about the future of the auditorium. Board Trustee Weston Cotton, whose district includes Highlands, said the district has spent so much to upgrade the facility it would be a waste to replace it.
The junior high is the largest part of a $220.5 million bond package approved by voters in April 2005. Fluker said the cost overruns were due primarily to inflation. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, as well as other factors world-wide have created shortages in metal, petroleum-based products and especially in wiring components which have driven up costs throughout the construction industry, he added.
The overruns, however, are not expected to have a large impact on Goose Creek’s budget. The district has discovered that another project, which includes a yet-to-be named 14th elementary school and improvements at Bowie Elementary, is expected to come in 2.45 million under budget.
The new elementary will be built in the Eastpoint section of Baytown, near I-10 and Garth Road. Construction is also expected to start next week, with the school coming on-line for the start of the 2007 school year.
Goose Creek is also busy with renovations at Stallworth Stadium.
The construction company Satterfield & Pontikas was hired to replace the press box at the stadium, install an elevator to the press box and make other upgrades that would bring the facility into compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
Like the Highlands Jr. School project the stadium came in over budget, at $1.5 million, approximtely $600,000 more than planned.

Crosby’s 60th Rodeo a Rockin success

CROSBY – The 60th Annual Crosby Fair & Rodeo hit all the goals set and raised $180,141.90 at the livestock auction before all of the re-donations.
This year a number of new features were added to the addendum and appear to have blossomed into new venues for growth. This year, “Shriner’s Night” was opening night, June 8, of the Fair & Rodeo Show. The Crosby Fair & Rodeo Association donated 50¢ from every ticket to the local Shriner’s hospital and all Shriners were requested to wear their fez. Kevin Fowler performed a rollicking concert to the largest yet Thursday night attendance.

Friday was “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” night for the first time. The American Cancer Society received $713 to go to breast cancer awareness. San Jacinto Methodist Hospital and Community Resource Credit Union sold varied tough enough to wear pink items and received donations for the cause. According to Shirley Rogers, “It will grow.” Trent Willmon and Earl Conley could not have been more diverse in music styles but both were engaging and fun.
Saturday night was a packed house with the final of the rodeo sport, John Keating Chevrolet and Friendly Ford of Crosby teamed up to give away a 4 Wheeler to a regular rodeo ticket holder. That turned out to be Misty Jones of Huffman. The action was fast and furious until Aaron Watson played endlessly, songs like the Ballad of the Duke’s of Hazard. Finally, Cory Morrow came out and wowed the crowd with entertainment and rockin’’’ country for couples to dance.
The motivation for the rodeo’s continued success is to help deserving youngsters to fund higher education through scholarships. Since 1991, $137,000 has been awarded in scholarships not counting the Livestock Auction in which fullly 9% of the auction goes to the youth raising the livestock. This year Wade Armstrong was a scholarship recipient and a Senior Top Hand. Other Scholarship recipients were Carlos Medina, Scott Holmelin, Trey Patterson and Tyler Michalsky. The Junior Top hand this year was Amber Greene. The Crosby Fair & Rodeo grants 5 scholarships of $2000 per year.

Historians speak at Highlands Chamber

HIGHLANDS– Chamber of Commerce members were thrilled to have as featured speaker at their monthly luncheon, the great grandson of Texas hero Sam Houston.
This was Sam Houston IV, who entertained the large crowd at the San Jacinto Community Center with stories of his youth, and the fables that followed members of his family over the years.

Unlike his father, and greatgrandfather, all named Sam Houston, this one spent his life as a salesman for U.S. Steel, and his historical background extends as far as being past president of the Sons of the Republic of Texas.
Houston was an entertaining speaker, but surprised the audience by spending his time telling tales of his father, a horse cavalry soldier in WWI, and a professional polo player who along with Will Rogers son, won the national championship and the so-named Will Rogers cup.
Part of the message of Houston’s stories, was the importance of knowing and honoring our history.
Sam Houston III, his son mentioned, is buried in the memorial cemetery at the San Jacinto Battleground.
Another historical story related at the meeting was the acquisition by Highland’s Gary Wiggins of an original 19th century flintlock musket from the battle of San Jacinto.
This Escopedo Musket, made in Britain prior to 1812, has the Mexican Seal on it so it was obviously captured in the battle.
Wiggins said that only 12 of these now are known to exist, although it is thought that 600 were captured during the battle. He indicated that this gun will be a centerpiece of the proposed Heritage Museum in Highlands.
After the meeting, admirers asked for autographs from Sam Houston IV, in recognition of his long family history.