Crews today will begin demolishing old, now-vacant school buildings in La Marque that officials say are too dilapidated for cost-effective repair.
The Texas City Independent School District announced this week the demolition timeline.
Crews today will start tearing down Highland and Simms elementary schools and an old house the former La Marque school district loaned to teachers, spokeswoman Melissa Tortorici said.
In May, construction crews will raze Inter-City Elementary School, the district said. The building that housed the Head Start program will be demolished in June, according to the district.
Demolition crews will perform asbestos abatement at each facility ahead of tearing them down.
The school district annexed neighboring La Marque Independent School District in July after the state ordered it would be closed and absorbed by another district, citing consecutive years of substandard performance on state academic or financial standards.
The Texas City school board hired three construction crews to demolish the remaining vacant buildings: AAR Incorporated, Cherry Demolition and Sitek Omni. Demolition is estimated to cost about $1.5 million, Tortorici said.
The projects slated to be demolished in the next few months are the last remaining vacant buildings in the former La Marque school district, Tortorici said.
The district had considered the possibility of restoring some of the buildings, but assessments indicated it would be too expensive to bring them to standard, Tortorici said.
The demolition of the old and vacant buildings will give the city the ability to move forward on new developments that could put those properties back on the tax rolls, Mayor Pro Tem Keith Bell said.
“We’re keeping the line of communication open with TCISD,” Bell said. “As those building come off the TCISD property list we want to put them back on the tax rolls in meaningful ways.”
City officials haven’t made any decisions about what those new developments might be, Bell said. But it seems likely schools demolished in a residential neighborhood will go toward future housing, he said. The city could look at commercial zoning for those in areas that might allow it, he said.
“We’re definitely keeping our ears open,” Bell said.