An elementary school near state Highway 3 in La Marque that’s been empty for at least two decades could finally be torn down.

The city is moving forward on a plan to demolish Lamar Elementary School, 1101 Delmar Dr. Mayor Bobby Hocking described the school building as not only a longstanding source of crime and blight in the neighborhood, but also a potential health hazard.

Contact reporter Marissa Barnett at 409-683-5257 or


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(14) comments

Walter Manuel

I too attended Lamar Elementary when I was a child and while it's sad to see that nothing was ever done to restore this once great school, it's finally time to see it go because of it's current condition.[sad]

Mike Trube

I have received calls about raw sewage draining from lines from that school, draining into a ditch behind the school. It didn't have an end cap till a citizen reported it. Why would raw sewage be draining from there? Hmmm....
I'm also wondering if it was posted that a quorum would be there for the photo op since it was city business? And isn't it interesting that the city is doing for this owner, what it wouldn't do for the previous owner?
It's time for ALL the eyesores in the city to be removed.


Dalton Logan

Not sure, but did not Lamar also serve as La Marque's High School at some point in time? It may have also been for grades 1-12.

Leonard T. Payne

Lamar ceased being La Marque High School in 1949-1950. It was an Elementary/High School before that.

Leonard T. Payne

The owners of this property will keep the City of La Marque tied up in court litigation on the outcome of this demolition.

Hide and watch folks, this building will still be there 2 years from now.

I hope they prove me wrong.

Mike Trube

This message is for the mayor, or whoever reads this for him. Apparently you need to re-read what I wrote. Or else you are unable to see the difference between a question and a statement. I simply asked if it was posted. I never said it wasn't. Why weren't you man enough to call me? You have both my phone numbers. And FYI, I did not get the message from the person you told to tell me to get my facts straight before I post. I am an adult, and no one needs to tell me what I can and can not post, except for this newspaper. I am not one that tells falsehoods. And you should have bigger worries than what is posted on a forum. If you can't handle the heat, then perhaps you need to get out of the kitchen.
Have a nice day, I am.


George Croix

Was any thought given to a lawsuit against the owner to force tear down or remediation to building codes? Take the property from him, then clear it, then sell it and keep any profits.
What am I missing? Must be something...

Gary Scoggin

George... I think that the city legally can't take the property from him, they can only place a lien on it. If it ever sells, the City will get repaid before the buyer can get clear title but they won't be able to make a profit. I really wonder if, as unimproved property, it's even worth $100k and that if the City would even get their money back. But the priority here is getting the building gone and, in that sense, it's worth the money to get it our of here.

George Croix

OK, Gary.
In a town that was actually, or even had a possibility of, growing this much property with State highway frontage might be worth at least an ugly penny or two, if not a pretty one.
Even a 100 grand for demo seems awfully cheap for a building this old and this big, unless it's already been abated for asbestos, lead, etc......seems like I recall we spent more than that on even very small projects at the plant.
Maybe they'll find a tablespoon of benzene somewhere inside, and a prominent local attorney can sue the owner to clean the place up .... and pay off 'clients' from here to El Paso, too.....

George Croix

My better half reminded me that the school was abated quite some time ago, paid for by one of our local industries as a community service for the purpose of making a good use of the building.
What would I do without her....[beam]

Mike Trube

Someone brought it to my attention and asked....if the city is going out for bids, is it really wise to tell up front how much the city(EDC)is willing to pay? Won't they bid as close to that as possible?


Brian Goldman

My history may be rusty but as I remember it the site was donated with the restriction that it had to be a "whites only" school. If the district failed to do so it would revert back to the family that donated the land.

The City often tears down structures that the owner will not maintain. I would hope they place a lein against the owner for the expense.

Their was a video online of some urban explorers who visited the site s few years back. All in all at that time it was no worse then the Districts current buildings. I'd like salvage rights to anything I could remove prior to its destruction.

Carlos Ponce

The site of Lamar Elementary (nee La Marque Schools) was not donated. It was purchased from Mr. Bertram Naschke.
From the Galveston Daily News: History of Free Education In La Marque Recounted by Superintendent of School BY RILEY LEFEVERS, La Marque School Superintendent, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 1937 pages ten and eleven
"Facilities Inadequate
By 1934, the need for new school facilities had become urgent. In October, at a regular meeting of the board of trustees, the matter was discussed. The three trustees, Fred C. Junemann, president of the Board, Mrs. W. K. Ray, secretary, and Louis Margot Jr., and Supt. of School Riley LeFevers, were present at the meeting. The trustees had the foresight to see
that a building that would take care of the expansion under ordinary conditions was not sufficient, The members of the board planned a building program that would take care of a rapidly increasing enrollment for several years. They realized the future of La Marque and are striving in every manner for a higher education in this district that will compare with any other city. Ben Milam, local architect, was contacted and he agreed to furnish preliminary sketches, contingent upon the voting of the bond Issue,
In order to meet the recommendations of the state department of education, it became necessary to purchase a larger site than the one on which the old building stands. Several sites were considered and J. Fred Horn, director of the school plant division of the state department of education, was invited to pass on these sites. Mr. Horn recommended n ten-acre tract in the Bertram Naschke addition, which is now known as Lamar addition. After consultation with the architect, taking into consideration distribution of population, drainage, accessibility and need for future expansion for this rapidly growing community, Mr. Horn verified his earlier recommendations to the board, Mr. Naschke, generous toward a pubic cause, sold the valuable piece of property for a nominal sum. After the purchase of the land, trees were bought from Charles Holbert of Arcadia and planted by Frank Paullin on the newly acquired site."
Now the La Marque School built on that site was an "all white" school until integration but racial segregation of schools was the norm of the day in Texas.

Carlos Ponce

Comment on "whites only" schools. In per-Integration days there were two schools, the White school and the Colored or Negro school. Hispanics attended the "White schools". So when you say "whites only" schools you really are saying non-Black, non-Colored or non-Negro school depending upon the time period. For example in the 1959 "The Tiger Tale" of La Marque I find the following surnames: Acosta, Garcia, Mendez, Mendoza, Meza, Velasquez etc.Pre-Integated Texas City Stingaree (1951) lists Capetillo, Dias, Duenas, Elizondo, Fuentes, Garcia, Jimenez, Leal, Luna, Medina, Mendoza, Pedraza, Perales, Ponce, etc.all attending the "white school".

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