For many college students, the city they live in while attending classes is a temporary hometown of sorts. While some were already residents of the city and others will stay, many will move on to jobs or back to the town they grew up in.
Circle K club students at Texas A&M University at Galveston have been picking up trash at Fort San Jacinto for about a year, but club leaders want to take the effort to a higher level.
The students heard about the fort’s disrepair from the Galveston Kiwanis Club, an international service organization. Circle K is the college-level version of Kiwanis.
The fort is on the East End, just north of where Boddeker Road intersects with Seawall Boulevard, but it’s hard to see from the road because it’s overgrown.
Built in 1898, Fort San Jacinto was the first headquarters for Galveston’s harbor defenses, according to the Texas State Historical Association. The fort was named in honor of the Texan victory over Mexican troops at San Jacinto and contained three gun batteries and a control station.
While plans are still in the conceptual stage, the club wants to place some picnic tables, build walking trails, add a fishing pier and build a kayak launch at the fort.
Frank Maceo, a former Galveston city councilman, has been helping the students organize their project, which is expected to cost an estimated $50,000.
In College Station, a group of students at Texas A&M’s main campus have been working with cities across the state, which this year includes Hitchcock.
The students of architecture and urban planning are part of the Texas Target Communities project, a Texas A&M University-based program designed to get students involved in real-life places with problems needing real-life solutions. By doing so, it is a win-win situation for the students in real-life learning. For the towns, it is a potential for improvement.
Among problems in Hitchcock identified by members of the community at a series of public meetings held by the Texas A&M University group were no grocery store in town, a lack of public amenities including anything for youth and other community members to do, and the lack of a city core.
Some of the ideas by the communities project are being and continue to be met with some resistance. Still, it has some Hitchcock residents talking about the city moving forward.
Both projects are worthwhile and helpful to Galveston and Hitchcock. That should be appreciated by both communities.
• Dave Mathews