HISD Neighborhood Lunch Program: The Eating of Glenbrook Valley

In a letter demonstrating the virtues of direct and forthright language, HISD has notified the owners of 8 homes on Glenloch St. in Glenbrook Valley that the new Lewis Elementary School will eat up their property:

This letter is to inform you that growth in Houston has created a serious shortage of permanent space within the Houston Independent School District (“HISD”). In a response to this need for space necessary to provide the best education for our children in your area, HISD will be replacing the Lewis Elementary School facility and it will be necessary to expand the existing school site.

The Superintendent of Schools has recommended, and the HISD Board of Education has designated, a tract of land for this expansion. This tract includes property you may own (see attached map).


The letter requests the homeowner’s cooperation in obtaining soil samples, surveys, and appraisals.

Members of our Real Estate staff will be contacting property owners on an individual basis as information needed for the acquisition of each parcel is being gathered. Offers for acquisition of each property will be subject to information furnished to HISD by the appraisers, surveyors and the
environmental firms.

HISD plans to demolish Lewis Elementary and build a new school on the expanded site, combining the school with nearby Bellfort Academy. Complains our source:

Why they don’t expand Bellfort and demolish some of the blighted properties around it instead of displacing homeowners is beyond me.

Photo: Judd M. Lewis Elementary School

14 Comment

  • To think common sense runs any ISD in this region is to put a lot of faith in utter crap.

  • It would be dangerous for the kids to have to go on Bellfort. I agree though, this is not being handled well. Have they looked into building up rather than out?

    I think the school district may be taking advantage of lower property values which is really unfair to the homeowners. We’ll see if they make a good and solid offer and if the homeowners are agreeable.

  • If HISD pays what is a market price offer and the homeowners owe much more, there isn’t much the homeowners can do other than go to court and find a sympathetic judge/jury.

    Eminent domain doesn’t really offer a way to recoup what you paid for something vs it’s value.

    Of course, the homeowners can use HCAD to challenge the appraisal price HISD gets especially if the appraiser low balls it. They could show that many homes are documented to have the higher market price on HCAD than what HISD offers.

    I’m in the middle of re-financing. The appraiser actually appraised my house for $15,000 more than I paid for it. Other new town homes and patio homes in the area are offering tons of incentives to keep purchase prices high.

    Also, the homeowners do not have to allow the geotechnical or environmental investigators on their property until after they sell it. A notices is not sufficient. They have to obtain permission.

  • On a related note, I saw that Ben Milam Elementary over near Washington and Durham has a big FOR SALE sign on it.

  • Gee homeowners, now might be a good time to go seed some PCBs or nuclear waste around your property, if it isn’t already a brown zone.

  • Or just pay off the environmental or geotech personnel. It doesn’t take much to make a site unsuitable for a school.

    Presence of ammonia will do it real quick. A rare animal would be easy too, but you have to acquire one of those.

  • Geez, seriously. Tell the architect to give the design another shot, this time getting it to fit on existing school property. Didnt realize we had to be so specific. . .

  • It can’t be that dangerous for the school to be on Bellfort since there is already one there that is being consolidated to the Lewis space. Also most of the kids going to this school live on Bellfort or Broadway.

  • I’ve got a grand idea!!!! Why don’t they tear down the dilapidated village on Broadway and Santa Elena. That is enough land to build ten schools. The neighbors would be very appreciative and probably be willing to help out. Make it happen captain!!

  • I don’t think they are combining the facilities of the Bellfort Academy with the Lewis Elementary School. I think they are combining the student bodies. If you look at the map, you see that Lewis does not have any Bellfort frontage.

    I repeat, to have elementary students (6 yrs old to 11 yrs old) walking on Bellfort would be entirely too dangerous.

  • Dangerous?

    Kids can’t be sheltered like this.

    I see kids of this age going to Stevenson Elementary every morning walking down TC Jester and crossing it too.

    In the morning, cars are also barreling down the big TC Jester bridge heading south to I-10. In the last 5 years I lived in this neighborhood, not once kid has been hit by a car.

    Maybe children should be taught how to walk along side a busy road and cross it correctly versus being sheltered from it.

  • Your missing the point Emma, There is ALREADY an elementary school on Bellfort. Bellfort Academy. This addition would in fact combine the schools. I was at the meetings so I know. The neighborhood has been carved up into 4 elementar schools. Cornelius, Park Place, (which is also on a four lane street) Bellfort Academy and Lewis elementary. There are almost no students from Glenbrook Valley attending Lewis now. The students come from the apartments on Broadway. It would be safer to move the school closer to the students it serves rather than enlarging it in the middle of a neighborhood where the streets are not designed to handle the traffic for that large of a facillity.

  • As a parent, I would not want my elementary age child walking along Bellfort anymore than along Highway 6. That’s all I am saying.

  • Well I guess HISD doesn’t think Bellfort is too dangerous for little ones. HISD will be putting the youngest from Lewis Elementary in the Bellfort Academy location.