FBISD approves schematics for Lakeview rebuild, preserves historic gym facade

The 1932 gym facade, which will be preserved in the rebuild, can be seen in this photo from 2019-20 school year.
The 1932 gym facade, which will be preserved in the rebuild, can be seen in this photo from 2019-20 school year.

The 1932 gym facade, which will be preserved in the rebuild, can be seen in this photo from 2019-20 school year.

Image description
The gym at Lakeview Elementary School, built in 1932, is being repurposed as part of the library and cafeteria. The rest of the school building will be torn down and rebuilt.
Image description
In this photo from the 1940s, the gym can be seen on the left-hand side behind two trees, which still stand today.
Image description
This aerial photo of the Lakeview campus was taken prior to 1936. The gym is the apex building of the right-hand semi-circle.
The 101-year-old Lakeview Elementary School will keep the facade of its gym, even as the rest of the building is completely rebuilt.

FBISD’s board of trustees approved the schematics for the redesign at the Oct. 21 regular board meeting. The project, which is part of the 2018 FBISD bond, will cost the district $31.8 million.

“I believe the design approved by the Board represents the collective best effort of the community-based committee, staff, and architect,” Superintendent Charles Dupre said in an email. “Through all their efforts, Lakeview’s history will be well preserved.”

Lakeview Elementary was constructed in 1917, with the most recent rebuild occurring in 1964. The oldest part of the existing school is the gym, which was built during a 1932 expansion, said Chuck Kelly, who volunteers with the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation.

The historic gym will be repurposed as part of the cafeteria and library. To one side of the school, a cluster of administrative offices will be constructed, and to the other, extracurricular classrooms and a new gym will be built. Kindergarten and first- and second-grade classrooms will be adjacent to the administrative offices and wrap around an outside courtyard. A second floor will be added for third-, fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms.

Grayle James, the only school board member to vote against approving the schematics, said keeping the gym as a gym was a priority for members of the community she had spoken with.

“I guess I voted no because ... it wasn’t clear to me where the heart of the school was going to be, and I felt sad or nostalgic to have the gym not be a gym anymore,” said James, whose children went to Lakeview.

Dupre said the design firm, Kirksey Architecture, was chosen because of its expertise with historic structures.

Kelly said while the heritage foundation does not have an official reaction to the rebuild, he is happy the district is preserving the gym’s facade.

“It’s difficult to preserve buildings, especially difficult if you can’t repurpose them for future use,” Kelly said. “I thank God that they are keeping at least the facade of the building.”

While she voted no on the proposed schematics, James said she thinks a rebuild of the Lakeview campus is necessary due to the school’s long layout and required maintenance work.

“I absolutely think a rebuild was the best option,” James said. “We’re going forward with that, and we have a schematic design now that’s approved by the board, and it’s okay. I voted against it, but I also recognize that the board approved it, so that’s how it works sometimes.”

Lakeview Elementary will be closed while the rebuild is in progress and students will start the 2020-21 school year at a different campus, although the decision as to which school will house students has not yet been made. FBISD is working to finalize design and construction documents before determining a timeline for the rebuild. District staff said the new building will open during the 2021-22 school year.
By Claire Shoop
Claire joined Community Impact Newspaper in September 2019 as the reporter for the Sugar Land/Missouri City edition. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in May 2019 where she studied journalism, government and Arabic. While in school, Claire was a fellow for The Texas Tribune, worked for the student newspaper, The Daily Texan, and spent a semester in Washington, D.C. She enjoys playing cards with her family and listening to the Boss, Bruce Springsteen.


Here are the latest coronavirus updates from Fort Bend County. (Community Impact staff)
With 131 new coronavirus cases reported July 2, Fort Bend County nears 4,000th case

Heading into the Fourth of July holiday weekend, Fort Bend County has seen a total of 3,999 coronavirus cases.

Houston fireworks display
Here’s how to celebrate Fourth of July across the Greater Houston area

Several Houston-area cities are still planning fireworks shows with drive-in or virtual components this Fourth of July.

Fort Bend ISD Superintendent Charles Dupre shared survey results and provided an update on the district's planning efforts for next school year during a virtual town hall July 1. (Claire Shoop/Community Impact Newspaper)
Fort Bend ISD shares survey results, latest plans for 2020-21 school year during July 1 town hall

Of the 18,000 parents who responded to a Fort Bend ISD survey, 43% said they were very comfortable or somewhat comfortable sending their children back to school for the 2020-21 school year.

Gov. Greg Abbott
Gov. Greg Abbott: Texans must wear masks in public starting July 3

"COVID-19 is not going away," Gov. Abbott said. "In fact, it is getting worse."

The Kemah Boardwalk will be open Fourth of July weekend. (Courtesy Kemah Boardwalk)
3 Houston-area amusement properties will be open Fourth of July weekend

The Kemah Boardwalk, Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier and Downtown Aquarium Houston are offering a joint weekend adventure pass for $29.99.

Episcopal Health Foundation
Survey: Texans support emphasis on improving economy, safety, pollution to address overall health

“COVID-19 is clearly showing what Texans already know: the state needs to address underlying, non-medical conditions that have a dramatic impact on their health,” Episcopal Health Foundation President and CEO Elena Marks said.

BlendIn Coffee Club
Sugar Land-based BlendIn Coffee Club charts new Allen Parkway location

Sugar Land-based BlendIn Coffee Club has its eyes on a new Inner Loop location and has filed permits for renovation of a space across the street from the new Stages theater.

Here is the latest coronavirus hospitalization and new case data from Fort Bend County. (Community Impact staff)
Fort Bend County hospitals are treating 234 coronavirus patients—a record high since the pandemic began

Of the 234 people being treated for the coronavirus in Fort Bend County hospitals, 51 are in the ICU.

The City of Galveston has decided to close all beaches for the 4th of July weekend. (Hannah Zedaker/Community Impact Newspaper)
Galveston closes beaches for Fourth of July weekend

The beaches will be closed from 5 a.m July 3 until 12:01 a.m. July 6. No cars will be allowed to park on Seawall Boulevard during this time.

Texas Medical Center entered Phase 2 surge levels as of July 1. (Courtesy Texas Medical Center)
Texas Medical Center enters Phase 2 of capacity plan as COVID-19 ICU use continues to rise

ICU occupancy at Texas Medical Center has entered Phase 2 surge levels.

Goldfish Swim School of Sugar Land will open July 7. (Courtesy Goldfish Swim School)
Goldfish Swim School of Sugar Land to begin lessons July 7 with coronavirus safety measures in place

The swim school will offer indoor classes and lessons for children 4 months to 12 years old.

The Fort Bend Children's Discovery Center has implemented a number of measures, including mandatory mask use, ahead of its July 7 reopening. (Courtesy Fort Bend Children's Discovery Center)
Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center plans July 7 reopening with minds-on, not hands-on, activities

The muesum is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and vistors must preorder tickets online.