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Posts published in “Community”

East Aldine progress report on the Town Center development

AERIAL VIEW of the new East Aldine Town Center as taken by a drone. Aldine Mail Route is in the foreground, Keith-Wiess Park beyond, and on the horizon downtown Houston. The center includes the Harris County 9-1-1 Call Center, at left, the BakerRipley complex at the center, and the Lone Star College-North Harris campus at right, with an Aldine ISD early college program. The cleared land at left will be a commercial development, including a Joe V’s supermarket. The land beyond BakerRipley will have new offices for the East Aldine District, and a public amphitheater and children’s park. (Photo by ev1).

The $100 million East Aldine Town Center project, when complete, will feature a Lone Star College campus, a Harris County 9-1-1 call center, the new home for BakerRipley Community Center (which has already been built), private commercial development, and the headquarters for the East Aldine Management District, and more importantly, it’s about the community having a place to learn, visit, and enjoy.

According to Don Huml the District’s Construction Manager for the development, there have been some unique challenges in getting the project off the ground. Or maybe more accurately, getting the ground out of the way of the project.

When the 61-acre parcel was purchased in 2013, it had been serving as a site to place the extra dirt that the Harris County Flood Control District needed to excavate in order to create the detention basin (lakes) in the adjacent Keith-Wiess Park. Before construction could begin on the town center, that dirt had to be scooped up and hauled away, a task that cost millions of dollars and several years in time.

Total construction will come to approximately 250,000 sq. ft. of commercial and institutional space, of which 100,000 sq. ft. will be commercial retail and office space, 64,500 sq. ft. will belong to Lone Star College’s East Aldine campus (which will include an early college high school), and 24,000 sq. ft. to the management district’s offices and 23,000 for the Harris County 9-1-1 call center. The remaining 33,500 sq. ft. is allocated to BakerRipley and includes a “maker space” to assist in skill and business support for the East Aldine community.

In addition to the institutions the town center will be hosting, there will also be both a retail component and amenities free to the general public, such as splash pads and a central park and playground area. The project will also include a Discovery Green/Miller Outdoor Theatre-style amphitheater with a capacity for 1,500 concertgoers. Area community leaders have formed the East Aldine Arts Council, which hopes to bring visual and performing arts to the Town Center grounds and facilities.

It is possible that the town center will also become the principal gateway to Keith-Wiess Park, supplementing the existing entryway on Aldine-Westfield. A future road access into Keith-Wiess Park as well as several trail connections are planned in order to tie these two world class properties together. A future recreational/nature center is envisioned in the park which would complete the puzzle and put this 500-acre park and town center complex on the map of the Greater Houston region.

Huml says that the retail component will be anchored by a Joe V’s Smart Shop, a community oriented grocery concept operated by H-E-B, and that the town center will eventually be home to restaurants, coffee shops, and more.

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Aldine ISD holds 60th FFA Livestock Show

The Grand Champion Steer was exhibited by Nick Cain, seen at right, and purchased by the First Construction Group for $14,000. (More photos in the print edition.)

ALDINE – A spirited livestock auction was held last Friday night at Campbell Center. The FFA students from all five high schools held their 60th Annual Livestock Show and Sale of Champions, with sales at approximately $180,000, down from last year’s total of $224,000. There were 63 lots, including artwork, buckles, cakes, and the animals that the students raised all year.

The top grand champion steer was raised by Nick Cain, and sold for $14,000. Cain also raised the GC steer last year. The buyer was First Construction Group.

Other notable sales were grand champion pig, raised by Zarius Johnson, and sold for $9000, an increase of $2000 over the previous year. The buyer was the Optimist Club. The grand champion goat was raised by Azaria Jackson, and sold for $5,500. The buyer was the AISD Operations Group.

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Northwood Plaza Center on Aldine Mail Rt. sold

Brixmor Property Group Inc., a New York City-based shopping center Real State Investment Trust (REIT) has purchased Northwood Plaza, a shopping center located at 5160-5420 Aldine Mail Rt. and anchored by Food City grocery store. The shopping center sits on 10.9 acres on Aldine Mail Rt and Highway 59. The 136,747 sq. ft. retail center was 91 percent leased at the time of the sale, other tenants include Melrose, Subway, Family Dollar, Pan Riko Bakery, Supreme Beauty Supply, Discount Tire, WingStop, Vision Source, Burger King, High Star Cleaner and other businesses.

Pct.2 distributes food during government shutdown

Precinct 2 staff turned out last Friday morning to help distribute the food.

HARRIS COUNTY PCT. 2 – During the current federal government shutdown, veterans and federal employees impacted were able to get food baskets and resource guides at two Food Fairs held at Precinct 2 community centers.

Pct. 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia partnered with the Food Bank to provide drive-thru style support at the Northeast Community Center, and East Harris County Activity Center. Garcia said the event will repeat in the future if necessary.

Commissioner Adrian Garcia visits Castlewood Civic Club

Commissioner Adrian Garcia, left, with Castlewood Civic Club members including President Connie Esparza at last week’s meeting.

Commissioner Adrian Garcia’s visit to Castlewood at Bethel Community Church last Thursday proved productive and informative.

The Commissioner listened attentively to the concerns of its residents such as bayou and ditch cleanup, water drainage from ditches, security issues, excessive gunfire in the area, maintenance of vacant lots and abandoned cars, dumping, problems with septic tanks and its possible conversion and heavy trash pickup.

Commissioner Garcia set priorities for the subdivision, first and foremost he said, is the flood mitigation beginning with identifying the proper sheet flow, stripping of the streets in the area, street repair of pot holes and appropriate lighting in the general area. Particular focus is being dedicated to the water drainage coming from Maya Park through Connorvale and possible repurposing of the area off Aldine Westfield on Gault.

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Richard Cantu holds “Thank You” Reception

RICHARD CANTU was recently elected to the Harris County School Board.

RICHARD CANTU, the Assistant Director for the East Aldine District, was elected in November as a member of the Harris County School Board. To thank all his supporters, he held a Victory reception at Mannie’s Seafood Restaurant last week. Pictured above are Patti Acosta, Connie Esparza, Steve Mead, State Senator Carol Alvarado, Richard Cantu, Art Murillo, and Joyce Wiley, just a few of the attendees at the event.

60th annual Aldine ISD Livestock Show set Jan. 30-Feb. 1

Eisenhower High School FFA student Nick Cain raised the Grand Champion Steer at the 2018 Aldine ISD Livestock Show and Country Fair. This year’s event will take place Jan. 30-Feb. 1 at the M.O. Campbell Educational Center.

The 60th annual Aldine ISD Livestock Show and Country Fair will be held Jan. 30-Feb. 1 at the M.O. Campbell Educational Center.

Project judging will be held on Thursday, Jan. 31, beginning at 8 a.m. and concluding at 4 p.m. in the Campbell Center Arena.

On Thursday and Friday, all projects will be on display to the public throughout the day.

The Sale of Champions, which produced $224,007 in sales in 2018, will be held Friday evening (Feb. 1) at 7 p.m. and will be held in the Arena. In addition to FFA students’ projects being auctioned off, Aldine ISD art students will also have their art work auctioned off.

Prior to the Sale of Champions, the buyer’s dinner will be held at 5 p.m. During the buyer’s dinner, AISD art students will have their art projects on display and individuals will have the opportunity to bid on the artwork.

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Mac grad Diana Del Pilar named principal of Avalos PTECHS

Diana Del Pilar, left, was named Principal of Rose Avalos Pathway in Technology Early College High School during the Jan. 15 Aldine ISD Board of Trustees meeting. She is pictured with the school’s namesake, and AISD Trustee, Rose Avalos.

Diana Del Pilar, a MacArthur High School graduate, is coming home.

Del Pilar was named the principal of Rose Avalos Pathway in Technology Early College High School at the Jan. 15 Board meeting. She will assume her new duties on Feb. 4.

She brings nearly 20 years of experience in the field of education to the role which includes more than 10 years in Aldine, and four years as principal of Houston ISD’s Middle College High School-Gulfton.

The Sam Houston University graduate began her teaching career in 1999 as bilingual teacher at Aldine ISD’s Sammons Elementary School. She also taught bilingual education at Hill, Wilson and Stehlik Intermediate schools before moving to Goodman Elementary where she served as the school’s bilingual instructional specialist. In 2005, she moved to Spring Branch ISD and served as an instructional specialist at Treasure Forest Elementary School before becoming an assistant principal at that same campus. In 2011, she moved to Houston ISD to serve as the principal of Helms Elementary School before opening the Middle College.

That experience will immediately be put to use as Del Pilar will lead recruitment efforts Aldine’s district’s first P-Tech high school and 10th high school.

Avalos PTECHS will open in August of 2019 and is the final school built with funds from the $798 million 2015 bond referendum.

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Cantu one of 3 new Trustees welcomed to HC Department of Education Board

(left) Harris County Superintendent James Colbert Jr., newcomer trustees Josh Flynn, Danyahel (Danny) Norris, Richard Cantu and HCDE Presiding Board President Eric Dick.

Jan. 14, 2019 – Three Harris County Department of Education Board of Trustees were sworn into office in January 2019 to represent Harris County students and community. The new faces who will help preside over HCDE matters are Richard Cantu, Position 3, At Large; Josh Flynn, Position 4, Precinct 3; and Danyahel (Danny) Norris, Position 6, Precinct 1.

Richard Cantu is the deputy executive director of the East Aldine Management District and has held a number of nonprofit and municipal leadership positions. The self-proclaimed community and education advocate sees himself as a representative of working families. He supports increasing opportunities for citizens to access early childhood education, after-school services for youth, workforce development initiatives and teacher professional development.

As the son of a Mexican immigrant who worked hard to achieve the American dream, Cantu says he knows the importance of education in transforming lives of working-class families.

“I am committed to improving access to existing critical services and developing partnerships to address community needs and challenges,” he said.

Josh Flynn is a licensed tax professional chartered through the IRS and specializes in nonprofit accounting. He formerly served as trustee for a university in Bethany, Oklahoma. His immediate goal in office is to make HCDE as transparent as possible. Long-term, he will promote efficiency, directing maximum benefits to Harris County students.

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Congressman Gene Green honored by Aldine ISD Trustees

U.S. Congressman Gene Green, center, was honored by the Aldine ISD Board of Trustees during its Dec. 18 Board meeting. Congressman Green was honored for his 25 years of dedicated service to the district while serving in the U.S. Congress. Pictured with Congressman Green and his wife Helen, were: (l-r): Vice President Paul Shanklin, Board Member Patricia Ann Bourgeois, Board Member Dr. Kimberley Booker, Board Member Dr. Viola M. Garcia, Aldine ISD Superintendent Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney, President Steve Mead, Secretary Rose Avalos, Assistant Secretary Connie Esparza and Deputy Superintendent Dr. Selina Chapa.

During the Dec. 18 Board meeting, Aldine ISD honored U.S. Congressman Gene Green for his decades of dedicated service to the school district.

Congressman Green is retiring after serving the North Houston area and Aldine for 25 years.

AISD thanked Congressman Green for his outstanding support of the district as a parent, a state representative, a state senator and as a U.S. Congressman. Mr. Green has supported Aldine ISD by holding an annual job fair at the M.O. Campbell Educational Center, he’s supported the district’s C.H.I.C.K.E.N Club, supported the district’s FFA students by purchasing student projects at the annual Sale of Champions, held financial and immunization workshops across the district and played in the M.B. “Sonny” Donaldson Golf Tournament, which benefits the Aldine Education Foundation.

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