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Posts published in “Day: March 19, 2009

Chinquapin builds ‘Green’ facility on campus

HIGHLANDS — A Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony will be held on April 8, marking the opening of a newly-built LEED-certified faculty duplex at The Chinquapin School, a college-preparatory school for underserved boys and girls from the Greater Houston area.

Community members are invited to attend the event that begins at 1 p.m. The new building was designed by the well-respected firm of Glassman Shoemake Maldonado Architects. The residence will house two faculty families, while serving as a model of sustainable design.

Features of this intelligent duplex include:

• Monitoring of resource consumption around the clock, providing a data collection store for science and math education at Chinquapin and local universities

• Procurement of largely local building materials, resulting in a low carbon footprint

• Utilization of low- or no-VOC-emitting building materials, producing a healthier working environment for construction workers and a healthier living environment for residents

• Transparently-built mechanical systems, so that students can see building systems in action

• Collection and reuse of rainwater

This project spurred the attainment of a grant from Green Mountain Energy for a 3.2 kilowatt solar panel array valued at $30,000.

In the spring of 2007, Chinquapin’s students started the design for this “green” building as a class assignment focused on sustainable design concepts. The students submitted designs that served as a springboard toward the final architectural plans of the much-needed faculty housing.

Faculty housing is an essential part of Chinquapin’s boarding school offering. Most of Chinquapin’s faculty members live on the school premises, along with the 7th-12th grade boys who live on campus during the school week. The boarding component sets Chinquapin apart from most other educational institutions that focus on a low-income population.

“A large part of ensuring the success of the students who board here depends on providing a community of teachers and advisors who are available around the clock, in person, to help guide and encourage students… More teachers living on campus equates to more student interaction with positive role models,” said Williams W. Heinzerling, Director of Chinquapin.

The new duplex is a welcome addition for the faculty, since the building replaces an existing substandard 1970 mobile home and an original dwelling that has been demolished. It is anticipated that the new facility will help maintain the sense of community among faculty and students at Chinquapin. Also, it is hoped that the new faculty duplex will contribute to teacher retention and help attract new teachers in the future.

Crosby’s original car dealers week

Joe Keating’s 90th Birthday brought friends, family and car buyers new and veteran to John Keating Chevrolet in Crosby on March 14. Above are Don Ramsey, owner of a Chevrolet dealership in Crosby from 1922 to 1980. Beside him is Paul Keating, who owned a dealership in Crosby from 1955 until 2001. At left seated, is John Keating, who owns John Keating Chevrolet since 1980 and to his right is Joe Keating, who owned a dealership here from 1967 to 1988.

Goose Creek CISD seeks community input

BAYTOWN — The Goose Creek CISD Board of Trustees has employed the Texas Association of School Board (TASB) to assist with the search for a new superintendent to replace Dr. Barbara Sultis who retired in January.

The Goose Creek Board of Trustees named Dr. Toby York, current Deputy Superintendent for Personnel and Student Services, interim superintendent while district officials search for a permanent superintendent.

The Board of Trustees is now requesting that the public be involved in developing the qualifications and characteristics for the person the Board should seek to become the district1s new superintendent.

“Hiring a new superintendent for our district is the most important thing that I have been involved in as a trustee for the last five years,” said Board President Carl Burg.

“Obtaining input from the community on what they think is important for the Board to consider when it comes to the personal and professional characteristics for that new superintendent should help provide community support for the person the Board hires in May. We want as many people as possible who can provide input to do so via the community sessions or through the link on the district web site,” he added.

Community involvement meetings will be held on March 23 and March 24 between the search consultant and the community members to discuss the desired characteristics of the new superintendent.

Both meetings will be held at the Administration Building Board Room, 4544 I-10 East at 6 p.m.

The Goose Creek Board president encourages all members of the community, those who live or work in the Goose Creek CISD boundaries, to attend and give the consultant their thoughts and insights.

Should anyone not being able to attend one of the community meetings, there is an online questionnaire ( to post comments.

Crosby overpass and a trip down South

Had lunch with Star-Courier staff member Lewis Spearman a couple of weeks ago. We talked about a number of things in and around Crosby. Was pleased this past Thursday to pick up the paper and read his article on the 2100 overpass progress. It was obvious that something was up when we noticed right-of-way clearance going on just south of the railroad tracks.

Can’t tell you how pleased I am we are seeing some progress being made there. I have been disturbed for the past two or three years of the on-schedule, off-schedule movements by the Texas Department of Transportation.

Now the contract is set to be let in January of next year and construction started in the Spring of 2010. If we get to return to this area again next year I surly hope to see the first shovel full of dirt moved during our stay. During the delays the cost has jumped from a projected $6.8 million to $13.19 million — just about double the original estimates.

That overpass not only will make a difference in the traffic, now and later, on 2100 but will also rid the town of some poor structures which have several years on them. That should improve some of the aesthetics.

A Trip South

Last week the Springer’s went Southwest again to visit Corpus Christi for the third year in a row. During the seven years we have visited here during the winter we have spent some time in the San Antonio area and one winter we spent about a week in Mexico City.

During our visit last week we did the usual things around Padre and Mustang Islands and the coastal area of Corpus. We expected some rain during the latter part of the week (which did occur) so we did most of our outside site-seeing during the early part of the week.

One day we drove out to Alice to visit that small town for the first time. I bought a band for my cowboy hat and a nice leather case for Linda’s cell phone. That will be unique back home in West Virginia.

Later that same day we headed down to Kingsville where we stopped for a short time and revisited the King Ranch. Then we headed further down Rt. 77 to the small village of Riviera, drove East to Riviera Beach and had a meal at a good restaurant — Baffin Bay Café. That is as far South as we have visited in Texas.

During my 35 year career with Union Carbide Corporation I got to every stateside chemical plant it had except the one at Brownsville. Maybe next time we’ll see more of the South Texas coast.

Such are the people, places and things that have touched my life in my home.

Festival of Hope fundraiser a success

Dear Editor,

The 5th Annual Festival of Hope took place at the Winnie-Stowell Park on March 7th.

Even with the recent hurricane and the problems with the economy, we had a nice turnout.

Horseshoes For Hope was a big success this year. We raised $240 at the horseshoe tournament.

The garage sale raised $535.00 dollars this year. We sold snow cones, homemade jelly, raffle tickets, various items and had a silent auction. The car show and other fund raisers raised $1433. We had 4 vendors this year that each made a contribution to Relay For Life/The American Cancer Society. We raised a total of $2,200.00 for the American Cancer Society via Relay For Life. We would like to thank everyone who helped make this event possible!

Shanna Manders
Chambers County
Relay for Life

Highlands Pilot Club says ‘Thank You’

Dear Editor,

The Pilot Club of Highlands 11th Annual Community Fair was held Sat. Feb. 28th at the Highlands Elem. School. We had good weather this year. Our turnout for the fair was around 500 people. The community came out and had a good time with out entertainers, singing and a big show for the Assembly of God church “Average Joes” that had everyone on the edge of their seats.

The BBQ was enjoyed by all, thanks to Kenneth Boudreux and crew.

Our President Susan Precht and all the members of the club would like to take this opportunity to say a big ‘Thank You’ to everyone and to our businesses that support us every year. It if wasn’t for you, our fair wouldn’t be a success.

The fair is our major fundraiser of the year, with our main focus being on brain-related injuries and Alzheimer’s prevention. We would not be able to continue supporting of all our projects and giving back to the community if it wasn’t for you.

Fair Chairman
Betty Michalsky
Pilot Club of Highlands