Clear View High School

The Clear Creek Independent School District has approved plans to build a new Clear View High School. Some leaders hope the old school entrance, which features an art deco design, can be preserved and turned into a visitors center, but that’s looking less likely now.

WEBSTER

After considering turning the front of a historic school building into a visitors center or museum, city officials have decided against the move, throwing the future of the beloved art deco structure into uncertainty.

“The district is now working through other options, but has not made any decisions yet,” said Sydney Hunt, spokeswoman for the Clear Creek Independent School District.

The school district’s Board of Trustees in November approved design plans for a new $45 million Clear View High School, one of many projects included in a $487 million bond issue voters approved in May 2017. The new 82,000-square-foot building would have a capacity for 350 students and would have 24 classrooms, officials said.

But the new building would come at the expense of the old one, a structure that opened in 1938, has an art deco vibe popular in government structures of the 1930s and opened as Webster High School.

Facing the possibility of losing the structure, Webster city officials in December began discussing plans to turn the front into a visitors center or museum, developments officials initially estimated would cost from $3 million to $4 million.

“The political will is there to do it,” Webster City Manager Wayne Sabo said in a previous interview with The Daily News. “It’s a matter of figuring out the financial means to do it.”

But in recent months the thinking has changed.

“Our budget projections for the end of this year and for the next fiscal year are currently not meeting expectations and other projects are taking priority,” Sabo said.

Declining retail sales are to blame for the reduced budget projections, given that most of the city’s income is dependent on sales tax, Sabo said.

But Webster’s 2018-2019 fiscal budget includes more than $45.6 million in total revenues and about $40.4 million in total expenditures, according to city documents.

While the city’s decision is a setback for the structure, it also isn’t a certainty the structure will be demolished.

Hunt on Thursday said she would provide updates once district officials make a final determination on what to do with the school.

The new school is being built near the old one, but not at the same site, officials said. So, students will continue attending classes in the old building until the new school is complete, officials said.

Projections are that the new building will be finished in August 2020, district officials have said.

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230; matt.degrood@galvnews.com

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(4) comments

Ron Shelby

that would be sad. From ariel views, it looks as if there could be a way to preserve a portion of the entrance building, tear down the peripheral balance, and incorporate it with the new structure. It would be similar to the way you "add on" to your home a new wing. Hopefully they can find some way to do that. That's a huge loss if its not kept. Very few Art Deco structures are still around, and so much of the "brick" design buildings that they have done in Texas in the last 20 years are pretty bland and awful. Especially in the Public Sector. We are going to regret that in another 20 years.

Bailey Jones

Old buildings are cultural treasures. Future generations will regret this.

Dan Freeman

"Politicians, ugly buildings, and whores all get respectable if they live long enough," Noah Cross Chinatown

Carlos Ponce

The Galveston Daily News Thursday December 7, 1939 Page Three
The general contractor on the new Webster High School expects to finish the job by Friday. The floor and finish work will not be complete however for about two more weeks. The board of the Webster Independent School District inspected and accepted the new gymnasium Monday night. The structure has seating space for 200 spectators in addition to the playing floor and two dressing rooms.
From the 1940 Webster High School yearbook- "The Web":
We pay tribute in this simple but sincere way to our school board who first had only dreams of a new school, then made plans for this building, and finally accomplished their goal, and gave to Webster High School students the most magnificent school in Texas. As our appreciation endures throughout the years, so also will we keep alive in our hearts a keen admiration for the board whose only thought was for the improvement and advancement of our school as well as the students therein. The expense of this ultra-modern school which holds a place among the State's finest will be wholly justified, encouraging the students to new incentive and showing them the way to develop a finer community here. Our hearts go out in warmest appreciation to you, Messrs. Bonton, Fletcher, Little, Bailey, Ervin, Bell, and Mrs. Ledford, who turned your dreams and ours into the most wonderful reality.

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