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Bidding War Ahead?

A Houston high school goes up for sale, putting a prime chunk of real estate on the market

St. Thomas High School/Hotze Field
Get Directions - 4500 Memorial Dr. Houston

A prime piece of central Houston property is up for grabs with the Houston Independent School District's High School for Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice — situated on South Shepherd Drive just north of Memorial — officially on the market, as The Leader first reported

The first law enforcement-focused magnet school in the United States has called the 10.9-acre property at 4701 Dickson Rd. home since its creation in 1981, but the building (the previous campus of a middle school) is falling behind in terms of resources available to its student body of approximately 550.

"What worked for us can't work for kids in the future," Ricki Willingham, a student at LECJ, said at a public meeting in January. "The world is evolving. We have to grow." 

The Leader says that St. Thomas High School, which borders the LECJ school to the south, is poised to make a "competitive bid" on the property to expand its 17-acre campus. Inquiries to the all-boys Catholic school for confirmation were not immediately returned. 

Although the $1.9 billion HISD bond package that passed last November doesn't include funding for a new LECJ campus, the Leader says that HISD will lease back the building from the purchaser for up to five years while a new campus is constructed. Officials are allegedly looking into potential LECJ sites near downtown. Calls to the district for comment were not immediately returned. 

Does that 10.9-acre plot speak to you? HISD will receive sealed bids on the property through June 18 at 2 p.m. in the Board Services Office at 4400 W. 18th St.

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