NCI breaks ground for new center in Aldine

Many local residents particpated in the planning

ALDINE – Neighborhood Centers held a groundbreaking ceremony last Wednesday morning, on the site of the new East Aldine Town Center. The new center is being constructed on a 61 acre plot on Aldine Mail Route, in the center of Aldine.

It will include a Harris County 9-1-1- call center, a Lone Star College campus that will have an Aldine ISD early college component, outdoor park features, a commerical complex to included a major grocery store, offices for the East Aldine District, and the Neighborhood Centers campus.

Planning for the center has been underway for almost two years, and much of the last year has been spent preparing the site, by removing large amounts of dirt overburden.

Now two of the entities have broken ground, and the college has announced it groundbreaking for December 12. Acutal construction of all three projects is expected to start in February, and will take about a year to complete.

Neighborhood Centers is a key to the success of this project, and the ceremony on Wednesday included many of the supporters involved in its realization. Speaking during the ceremony were Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, Pct. 2 Commissioner Jack Morman, East Aldine chairman Gerald Overturff, Neighborhood Centers CEO Angela Blanchard, NCI campaign co-chairs Murry Bowden and Marc Shapiro, and State Representative Armando Walle. Emcee for the ceremonies was Mike Ballases, chairman of the NCI board of directors.

An especially emotional talk was made by Representative Walle, who was raised and educated in Aldine and MacArthur High, and spoke about how this project would raise the opportunities, and the esteem, for present and future generations.

East Aldine chairman Gerald Overturff, who has lived all his life in Aldine, also spoke about the changes that have occured, and symbolized by this development.

Neighborhood Centers CEO Angela Blanchard said that NCI goes where invited, and does what they are asked to do. In this case, she characterized their involvement as “putting a roof over a dream” and providing a better future for the whole community. She emphasized it was a partnership with many who helped.