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Spring Klein Edition VOLUME 10, ISSUE 8 NOV. 14DEC. 13, 2023
A decade in the making
William Grayson, a director and professor of theater for Lone Star College-University Park, walks the campus’s new 31,000-square-foot Visual and Performing Arts Center on Oct. 23.
EMILY LINCKECOMMUNITY IMPACT
Lone Star College-University Park to debut long-awaited $25M visual, performing arts center in December
“Our students are going to be working in what I think are some of the most impressive facilities for our music and drama,” said William Grayson, LSCUP’s theater director and a drama professor.
Why it matters Approved by voters in 2014 as part of the college system’s $485 million bond, the 31,000-square-foot center will provide new, larger facilities for the college’s visual and performing arts departments.
BY EMILY LINCKE
About one decade since the project’s conception, Lone Star College-University Park’s $25 million Visual and Performing Arts Center will premiere to the public at a grand opening celebration Dec. 6.
CONTINUED ON 18
Also in this issue
Impacts: 1929 Po-boy Kitchen opens Spring eatery (Page 7)
Education: Spring ISD trims rewards program budget (Page 11)
Environment: Drainage plan to be complete by 202425 (Page 15)
Nonprofit: ‘Adoption-challenged’ cats nd home in Spring (Page 23)
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SPRING KLEIN EDITION
SPRINGWOODS VILLAGE PKWY.
2 Grunge Hair Shop Grunge Hair Shop is now open in Spring, owner Nick Vago con rmed Sept. 29. The salon oers online booking and provides services, including cuts, coloring, shampooing and conditioning, and brow waxing. • Opened June 17 • 2400 FM 2920, Ste. 140, Spring • https://grunge-hair-shop.square.site 3 Empire Barber and Beauty Salon Empire Barber and Beauty Salon ocials celebrated the grand opening of their new location in Spring in August. The beauty salon oers an assortment of services, including haircuts, hair styling and coloring. • Opened Aug. 3 • 3422 FM 2920, Spring • 346-625-4283 4 Rich’s Car Wash Rich’s Car Wash recently opened its seventh Greater Houston-area location. The business is oering three unlimited wash club memberships for a sign-up fee of
S. PLUM CREEK DR.
SPRING CREEK DR.
Old Town Spring
$10 for new customers. • Opened in September • 4303 FM 1960, Houston • www.richscarwash.com
VINTAGE PARK BLVD.
5 Vetco A Spring-area Petco is now home to a full-service veterinary hospital that oers checkups, dental procedures, vaccinations, spay and neuter surgeries, microchipping, and prescriptions. • Opened Aug. 14 • 19507 I-45 N., Ste. 700, Spring • www.petco.com 6 GoHealth Urgent Care Ocials with Memorial Hermann announced the opening of its 24th GoHealth Urgent Care center, via an Oct. 30 news release. The new center treats patients ages 6 months and older for non-life-threatening conditions, and oers on-site X-ray services, COVID-19 testing and £u vaccines. • Opened Oct. 30 • 10300 Louetta Road, Ste. 120, Spring • www.gohealthuc.com/memorialhermann
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Morales con rmed via email. The restaurant features a cold beverage tap system, a mobile order pickup area, a digital order status board and a drive-thru. • Opened Sept. 2 • 24211 Kuykendahl Road, Tomball • www.dunkindonuts.com, www.baskinrobbins.com
1 Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins A joint Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins location is now open in Tomball, local Dunkin’ Director of Operations Cristina
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7 7 Brew Co ee Hot and iced coee beverages are now being sold at 7 Brew Coee in Spring. The Arkansas-based drive- thru coee company boasts espresso drinks, shakes, smoothies, teas, sparkling waters and energy drinks. • Opened Oct. 14 • 21420 Kuykendahl Road, Spring • www.7brew.com
8 Shipley Do-Nuts A new Shipley Do-Nuts is under construction in Spring, a representative with SPM Communications Inc. con rmed Oct. 4. The business will oer doughnuts, kolaches, pastries and coee. • Opening in December • 6500 FM 1960 W., Ste. D, Houston • www.shipleydonuts.com 9 Memorial Springs Emergency Room Memorial Springs Emergency Room will be opening soon in Spring. The medical facility will treat a wide range of medical conditions. • Opening date TBA • 5037B FM 2920, Spring • www.memorialspringser.com
12 Cutten Kitchen Owner Tulio Aparicio opened Cutten Kitchen in northern Houston. The restaurant—which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily—oers American fare with menu items ranging from breakfast tacos and buttermilk pancakes to chicken-fried steaks and bacon cheeseburgers. The restaurant also features a full bar and serves drinks such as frozen margaritas, mimosas and bloody marys. • Opened Aug. 3 • 6935 FM 1960 W., Houston • www.cuttenkitchen.com
14 1929 Po-boy Kitchen Owners Gar eld and Monica Landry recently opened a second 1929 Po-boy Kitchen location in Spring. The eatery aims to pay homage to the history of the “poor boy” by oering Louisiana- style po’boys, gumbo, seafood platters and Oxtail Yakamein. The restaurant also features a full bar, and the owners plan to oer specialty boils and craw sh in the future. • Opened Sept. 24 • 16000 Stuebner Airline Road, Ste. M, Spring • www.1929poboykitchen.com
• Reopening mid-November • 8312 Louetta Road, Ste. B, Spring • www.soundrevolutionhtx.com
this project—which will oer members of the Hope’s Path program a place to live independently while receiving
10 Kris10’s Gems Beginning in mid-November, Kristen Shah—the owner of Kris10’s Gems—will be relocating her handmade jewelry shop within Old Town Spring to a space across the street from its current location—310 1/2 Main St., Spring. • Reopening Dec. 1 • 311 B Main St., Spring • www.kristensgems.com 11 Sound Revolution This music store, which rst opened in 1976, will be relocating from its original location at 1312 FM 1960 to the Spring area. Owned by Sunne Walton and Donnie Mcclure, the store oers vinyl records, tapes and CDs as well as t-shirts, skateboards, jewelry and gift items.
program services—through donations. • 28918 S. Plum Creek Drive, Spring • www.hopespath.org
In the news
15 Elison Park Representatives for Elison Park announced the community’s name change from Elison Willowbrook, via a Sept. 1 news release. The gated independent-living community oers one- to two-bedroom apartments for seniors and amenities such as a pool, dining room, dog park and putting green. • 7575 Willow Chase Blvd., Houston • www.elisonwillowbrook.com
13 Hope’s Path The nonpro t devoted to helping young men who have aged out of the foster care system is working to raise money for a triplex home project in the Spring area, Executive Director Brandon Anderchuk said. Originally conceptualized as three separate tiny homes, the project has been redesigned as a single building containing three living quarters to help the permitting process. Organization leaders hope to continue to raise funds for
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SPRING KLEIN EDITION
Harris County o cials plan to revitalize NRG Park Plans to revitalize the home of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and the Houston Texans are moving forward after Harris County commissioners voted unanimously Oct. 10 to task county ocials with redeveloping the NRG Park complex and surrounding region. 90 NRG Center NRG Park Houston Astrodome NRG Stadium
Harris Center opens mobile wellness clinic A new community health care initiative is taking place with the launch of a mobile wellness clinic in September. The mobile clinic will address the full wellness needs of each patient, including physical, mental and behavioral health. The details Ocials with The Harris Center said that while the mobile wellness clinic will initially partner with community centers for events in precincts 1 and 2, it won’t be limited to just those two areas. “We’ll look at what they’re currently doing with their activities because they’re already connected to the community, and then we add the mobile wellness vehicles to go to these events,” Director Stanley Williams said.
The Harris County Sports and Convention Cor- poration will develop at least two alternative plans to re-envision NRG Park, which is a 350-acre sports and entertainment complex owned by the county that hosts more than 5.5 million people annually. Digging deeper HCSCC Chair James Dixon II said the organi- zation will work collaboratively with input from tenants, the rodeo and the Texans, and ensure the greatest benet for all key stakeholders, such as county residents, and Houston’s diverse residen- tial and business communities. “If we are really methodical and strategic and collaborative and work with pure intent, we can all
end up with something out there that becomes a legacy project for our future,” Dixon said. Ideas discussed for the project included adding more green space, replacing parts of the parking lot with economic mixed-use areas, and looking to potential developments in the surrounding area, Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis said.
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28 county libraries designated ‘sanctuaries’ for banned books
The Harris County Public Library system has o cially joined a nationwide movement that prevents book banning and censorship, and main- tains open access to information. Harris County commissioners unanimously approved the o cial resolution Sept. 19 that designated the 28 public county libraries as “book sanctuaries.” More than 2,900 book sanctuaries are estab- lished throughout the country, according to documents from the Chicago Public Library that began the initiative. HCPL Executive Director Edward Melton said in a news release that it’s important for the library to provide content and information to everyone in a community as diverse as Harris County. “The thing about books is that they are crucial not only as mirrors that reect our own experi- ences but also as windows into the experiences of others. The library must provide those opportuni- ties for all people,” Melton said.
Explained Guidelines in place for the HCPL system and its sta as book sanctuaries include: • Defending readers’ freedom to speak, think and read as they choose • Protecting library sta from harassment and intimidation • Collecting and protecting endangered books by making them available to the public • Fostering discussion about challenged and diverse books to promote understanding and mutual respect • Educating the public about current and past eorts to censor and ban books According to the HCPL news release, the book sanctuary resolution doesn’t bar library users from asking the library to reconsider items on its shelves for review or voicing concerns.
"In Harris County, we support our librarians and the right to read." RODNEY ELLIS, HARRIS COUNTY PRECINCT 1 COMMISSIONER
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SPRING KLEIN EDITION
BY CASSANDRA JENKINS
The Lone Star College System chancellor’s o ce is hosted in The Woodlands Leadership Building.
COURTESY LONE STAR COLLEGE SYSTEM
CASSANDRA JENKINS COMMUNITY IMPACT
Mario Castillo appointed Lone Star College System’s fth chancellor Mario Castillo was appointed the fth chancellor of the Lone Star College System in August. Castillo follows former Chancellor Stephen Head, who retired this year. Castillo has served LSCS since 2015 as vice chan- cellor, general counsel and chief operating ocer. He is also the rst Hispanic LSCS chancellor. What are your thoughts on House Bill 8’s changes to the way community colleges are funded? I’m a much bigger fan of outcome-based funding.
That means we’re not going to be an enrollment- focused institution anymore. We are going to be a retention-focused institution, which means that what I’m more interested in is keeping the students that we have rather than recruiting more. What industries do you expect will have the most signicant workforce needs over the next 10 years? Information technology; computers, national security, information technology and computer chips. A lot of our computer chips come from overseas, and so we are vulnerable to countries that are not entirely friendly to the United States. What are some short- and long-term goals you have for the LSCS? I’m a big proponent of one LSC, so for the next 10 months, my goal is to get all 7,000 of our employees doing the same thing and working collaboratively
toward the same goal. Long term, I want to win the Aspen Prize and be the No. 1 community college in the country based on outcomes. How will you prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion, especially with the passing of Senate Bill 17 eliminating DEI o ces? Most of our processes were built to be compliant with all the laws that I think our state legislators were worried about violating when they passed their recent DEI statutes. We’re an incredibly diverse institution from the very top.
This interview has been edited for length, style and clarity. For a longer version, visit communityimpact.com .
BY EMILY LINCKE
Spring ISD reduces employee incentive program by $4.5M
Spring ISD trustees voted to reduce committed fund balance moneys by $4.5 million Oct. 17 in light of the district’s $25.4 million budget decit. The gist In a 6-0 vote, trustees approved the district’s proposal to reduce the $5 million fund balance committed for the Spring Rewards program to $500,000. Trustees expressed the desire to use the committed funds to create a reward program for SISD employees other than classroom teachers since the Texas Education Agency’s Teacher Incen- tive Allotment program granted $4.5 million in bonuses to SISD classroom teachers for the 2022-23 school year in July. “The ... teacher incentive allotment program doesn’t allow us to write in for anyone other than a teacher to qualify,” Westbrooks said. The highest-earning SISD teacher received $29,000, and multiple teachers earned more than
$20,000 through the state’s TIA program, Chief Financial Ocer Ann Westbrooks said Oct. 5. About 348 teachers received a combined $1.8 million in bonuses through the district’s Spring Rewards teacher incentive program, but only 210 of these teachers also qualied for the TIA program, Westbrooks said Oct. 17. Explained SISD initially considered reducing the commit- ted funds Oct. 5; however, trustees opted to delay the decision. Multiple trustees raised concerns about the dis- trict’s recommendation to reduce the committed funds to $0 at the Oct. 5 meeting, but expressed support for the altered recommendation of a $4.5 million reduction Oct. 17. With declining enrollment, low average daily attendance and the budget decit, Westbrooks said SISD cannot aord to continue to commit $5 million annually to the Spring Rewards program.
202223 bonus breakdown
$4.5M in bonuses was awarded to SISD teachers through the TIA $1.8M in bonuses was awarded to SISD teachers through Spring Rewards 138 SISD teachers qualied for Spring Rewards, but did not qualify for the TIA 210 SISD teachers qualied for both Spring Rewards and the TIA
SOURCE: SPRING ISDCOMMUNITY IMPACT
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TxDOT recommends elevated lanes, new intersections on I 45
Long- and short-term solutions to begin addressing congestion on the I-45 corridor were presented by the Texas Department of Transporta- tion at a public meeting Sept. 26. TxDOT initiated a Planning and Environmental Linkages study in 2017 to identify solutions to trac congestion and ow on I-45. The details Based on TxDOT study ndings and public comment, the most viable and preferred solution to I-45 congestion was identied as elevated managed lanes with access to major frontage roads. Intersections which access I-45 would be turned into diverging diamond intersections, which would move frontage road trac over major intersections. These projects are slated for a 10- to 20-year project timeline, according to TxDOT, and Houston-Galveston Area Council ocials estimate the cost at $300 million. In the short term, TxDOT is also looking at potential shared-use pathways along the frontage roads to allow more space for biking and pedes- trian travel through intersections and between businesses on frontage roads. What they’re saying “We’re hoping that this is going to help the entire community with … increasing mobility issues, … and from what I’ve seen so far it’s a good plan,” Shenandoah Mayor John Escoto said. “We get a lot of our customers just from driving by, seeing the signs, so my concern is … if they expand, we’re right up against the frontage road so parking will disappear, but it’s a quite a ways out [before that happens],” said Andy Armstrong, a business owner along I-45. What’s next TxDOT Public Information Ocer Bambi Hall said the projects will likely not see construction start for another ve to 10 years, and they still have to go through funding requests through the state before TxDOT ocially starts work on the project. Lane elevations on I-45 are currently on the 20-year plan for development by TxDOT; however, projects such as intersection remodeling and shared-use path creation could begin within the next ve to 10 years, TxDOT ocials said. A comment period for the project was held through Oct. 13, at which point TxDOT planned to consider any potential concerns and move forward with design and construction.
Future possibilities for I45 A number of intersection changes on I-45 between Loop 336 in Conroe and Beltway 8 in northern Houston could provide additional transit routes and trac patterns over the next ve to 10 years.
Intersection type recommended
Diverging diamond: The tra c pattern allows thru-tra c and left-turning tra c through the intersection simultaneously.
Bike intersection: Area for bicycle and pedestrian tra c along intersections
HOLLOW TREE LN.
Roundabout intersection: A circular intersection in which tra c travels counterclockwise around a central island and entering
tra c yields to the circulating tra c.
20-year plan for elevated lanes The Texas Department of Transportation unveiled a new possible look for I-45 at a Sept. 26 public meeting. The new design would create elevated managed lanes from Beltway 8 to Loop 336.
2 managed lanes
2 managed lanes
Elevated lanes would be managed lanes for high- occupancy vehicles or tolls.
3 frontage lanes
4 main lanes
4 main lanes
3 frontage lanes
SOURCE: TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATIONCOMMUNITY IMPACT
SPRING KLEIN EDITION
Number of homes sold
Residential market data
Across a majority of Spring-area ZIP codes, fewer homes sold in October than did in October 2022. Meanwhile, the median home sales price decreased across most Spring-area ZIP codes.
Median home sales price
77068 77069 77389 77388
MARKET DATA PROVIDED BY JENNY HILL, A REALTOR WITH COLDWELL BANKER REALTY • 18425 CHAMPION
FOREST DRIVE, SPRING • 7138050947 HTTPS:JENNYHILL.CBINTOUCH.COM
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BY HANNAH BROL
During an Oct. 25 town hall, o cials with the Cypress Creek Drainage Improvement District said they hope to have a comprehensive ood mitigation and funding plan created by 2024 or 2025. In June, Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law House Bill 5334, which created a special- purpose district to address ooding in the Cypress Creek watershed. The district: • Is governed by a temporary board of ive directors and will require an election to select ive permanent directors prior to Sept. 1, 2027 • Does not have the powers of eminent domain to impose a tax or issue bonds under current law District to create master drainage plan by 2024 25
Following the conclusion of the town halls, CCDID ocials said their next steps would be to host a series of public workshops to gather input from local stakeholders with the hopes of creating a comprehensive ood mitigation and funding plan by 2024 or 2025. The district then plans to hold its election for a permanent board of directors no later than May 2027. District milestones June 2023: Gov. Greg Abbott signs House Bill 5334 into law, creating the CCDID. October: CCDID hosts three town halls. Late 2023-early 2024: CCDID hosts public workshops throughout the watershed 2024-25: CCDID completes its comprehensive ood mitigation and funding plan May 2027: CCDID voters elect a permanent board of directors, conrming the creation of the district.
After establishing a temporary board of direc- tors this summer, district ocials said they are completing the rst of three phases toward their goal of creating a comprehensive ood mitigation and funding plan for the Cypress Creek watershed. The plan includes: • Phase 1: Review prior studies and identify potential projects • Phase 2: Evaluate potential projects for ood benets and cost • Phase 3: Prepare nal report with master drainage plan The district held three town halls in October to provide an overview of previous watershed studies and ongoing ood mitigation projects. According to district ocials, the Cypress Creek watershed has been the subject of at least 15 studies dating back to the 1980s. “We’ve had so many plans and what good is all this planning if the plans are not actually implemented?” CCDID Secretary/Treasurer Clara Lewis said. “Our vision is to tackle these challenges more eectively through a unied voice for the Cypress Creek watershed.” Additionally, while Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey noted there are roughly $150 mil- lion in ood mitigation projects planned and funded to be completed in the Cypress Creek watershed over the next three years, district ocials said that only scratches the surface of the watershed’s complex ooding issues. “Our watershed has not had sucient funds to alleviate ooding and that’s one of our chores—to be there as that squeaky wheel to try to get funding for you,” CCDID board member Barbara Schlattman said.
SOURCE: CYPRESS CREEK DRAINAGE IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT COMMUNITY IMPACT
District boundaries More than 500,000 people reside within the CCDID’s boundaries—a vast portion of unincorporated northwest Harris County.
CCDID ocials encourage Cypress Creek watershed residents to attend the upcoming workshops and to help advocate for funding at the local, state and federal level. To provide input or submit questions to the district, email email@example.com or visit www.cypresscreekdid.org.
SOURCE: CYPRESS CREEK DRAINAGE IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT COMMUNITY IMPACT
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SPRING KLEIN EDITION
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Holiday Events Guide
• 9525 Spring Cypress Road, Spring • www.tomballchurcho¡jesuschrist.org
with the Cypress Creek Handbell Choirs, Children’s Choir and the Holy Family Processional. • Dec. 3, 7:30-9 p.m. • Free (admission) • The Centrum, 6823 Cypresswood Drive, Spring • www.cypresscreekchorale.cc Holiday Follies Stageworks Theatre will present entertainment inspired by the late 19th century Vaudeville and Follies shows. • Dec. 7-9 and 14-16, 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 9 and 16, 2 p.m.; Dec. 10 and 17, 3 p.m. • $37-$54
Kimberbell Nativity Bench Pillow Learn how to create a nativity pillow at this two-day workshop hosted by Cupcake Quilts. • Dec. 1-2, 10 a.m.-4:45 p.m. • $179 • 1469 Spring Cypress Road, Spring • www.cupcakequilts.com Klein ISD Holiday Market KISD’s Special Education department will host a holiday market with vendors, a silent auction and concessions. • Dec. 2, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. • Free (admission) • Klein Multipurpose Center, 7520 FM 2920, Spring • www.kleinisd.net
Islamic Arts Festival The Islamic Arts Society will host this 10th annual festival featuring Islamic calligraphy, woodwork, ceramic tiles and paintings from local artists. Henna tattoos, children’s activities and food trucks will also be available. • Dec. 9-10, 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. • Free (admission) • Masjid Al Salam, 16700 Old Louetta Road, Spring • www.islamicartssociety.org Christmas Spectacular Champion Forest Baptist Church will present a 90-minute music-lled portrayal of the Nativity, o¤ered in both English and Spanish. • Dec. 16, 7-9 p.m.; Dec. 17, 3-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. • $13-$23 • 15555 Stuebner Airline Road, Spring • www.championforest.org
Giant Gingerbread Village City Place will present a gingerbread-themed photo op with a path lined with gumdrops, lollipops and candy canes—and guarded by two giant gingerbread men—leading to a raised clearing with cookie trees, a 16-foot-high gingerbread house and a 12-foot windmill. There will also be ve new holiday art installations this year. • Nov. 23-Jan. 8, 2024 • Free (admission) • 1250 Lake Plaza Drive, Spring • www.cityplacenow.com
• 10760 Grant Road, Houston • www.stageworkshouston.org
Holiday Tree Lighting City Place will host a Christmas tree lighting event with a countdown for the illumination of a 35-foot Christmas landmark rising from City Place Park’s main pond. Santa and Mrs. Claus will also be in attendance for the festivities, which will consist of a
holiday market with 30 vendors, children’s activities and a live choir.
Light the World through Music The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will host a free Christmas-themed concert.
• Nov. 26, 4-8 p.m. • Free (admission) • 1250 Lake Plaza Drive, Spring • www.cityplacenow.com
A Caroling Christmas Concert The Cypress Creek Community Chorale will perform
• Dec. 9, 3-7 p.m. • Free (admission)
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LSCUniversity Park to debut long-awaited $25M visual, performing arts center From the cover
A closer look
Under the 2014 bond, LSC UP’s Visual and Performing Arts Center was allotted about $29.3 million, according to Sept. 7 meeting documents from LSCS’s board of trustees. In December 2019, the project was expected to cost around $21.67 million to build. However, the project’s construction has cost about $25 million so far, said Priscilla Arteaga, division operations manager for LSC UP. Due to inated material costs seen during the project’s timeline, leaders were forced to scale down some aspects of the original plan, Ander- son said Oct. 23. The project was conceived to measure between 30,000-40,000 square feet, but some features—such as individual faculty oces that changed to a shared oce space—evolved. “Since we did lose such a large percentage of our square footage, we had to create exibility with each of our rooms,” Anderson said. The department is communicating with the Lone Star College Foundation about potential additional funding for specic equipment that may be needed in the facility in the future, Arteaga said.
“Our current space cannot accommodate student demand,” Anderson said in an Oct. 25 email. “With the addition of the VPAC, we can meet the student’s needs and expand our oering to the community at large. More specically, this facility will also enable us to oer more programs in art, drama and music that will increase opportunities for LSC-UP students.”
Features of the new LSC-UP Visual and Performing Arts Center include facilities for the various disciplines that make up the college’s visual and performing arts department. The center was designed not only to give current students more space but to account for department growth, said Jonathan Anderson, LSC-UP’s dean of arts and humanities.
Art facilities include: 1 An art gallery 2 An art studio
Drama facilities include: 3 A 338-seat auditorium with an orchestra pit, catwalks, sound and lighting booths 4 A 100-seat black box theater 5 A costume design room 6 A scenery shop for designing and building sets 7 Dressing rooms with showers
Music facilities include: 8 A music ensemble classroom 9 Practice rooms
Other space is included for: 10 Combined ofice space for faculty 11 Classrooms
Voters approve LSCS’s $485M bond, which includes LSC-UP’s Visual and Performing Arts Center project. November 2014 Hurricane Harvey delays groundbreaking after LSCS is forced to spend $60M repairing ood damage on campuses. August 2017
SOURCE: LONE STAR COLLEGEUNIVERSITY PARKCOMMUNITY IMPACT
The coronavirus pandemic causes delays. September 2020
A 100-seat black box theater is one of multiple features in LSCUP’s new VPAC.
Students and faculty tour LSCUP’s new VPAC as construction nears completion.
Spikes in material costs and labor shortages continue to delay the project. October 2021
Construction begins. May 31, 2022
A grand opening ceremony will be held. Dec. 6, 2023 Classes will be held in the center. January 2024
Lone Star College-University Park’s Visual and Performing Arts Center will be opening on Dec. 6.
The 31,000-square-foot center will host its rst classes in the spring 2024 semester.
SOURCES: LONE STAR COLLEGEUNIVERSITY PARK; JONATHAN ANDERSON, LSCUP’S DEAN OF ARTS AND HUMANITIESCOMMUNITY IMPACT
BY EMILY LINCKE
What they’re saying
“Sometimes you don’t have a place at home to get stu done. So the fact that now we have that ... I think it’s a big ... help.” MUHAMMAD USMAN KHAN, LSC UP GENERAL ARTS STUDENT
Grand opening celebration LSC-UP will host a grand opening celebration for its new Visual and Performing Arts Center on Dec. 6 at 4 p.m. The event will feature: • Tours of the center • A performance of “A Christmas Carol” • A ribbon-cutting ceremony
LSC-UP leaders hope to eventually open the Visual and Performing Arts Center up for use by community performers and artists, Anderson said. However, they want to rst focus on opening the facility for students and faculty. “We’re already thinking about ‘What more can we oer our students as an experience?’ But the other piece of this is that we want to be known as ... all things cultural for northwest Houston, and we also want to connect the city to northwest Houston through the arts,” Anderson said. More ways to further highlight art from students and local artists in the center are also being brainstormed, Anderson said. Examples include lling up blank spaces on the center’s walls with art pieces or murals once it opens.
UNIVERSITY PARK CAMPUS DR.
“We now have a place for our students to perform be tting their skills and their dreams and their aspirations,
which is ... a big deal.” STEVEN KAHLA, LSC UP VICE PRESIDENT OF INSTRUCTION
930 University Park Campus Drive, Houston www.lonestar.edu/up-vpa
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BY JOVANNA AGUILAR
Owners Marcial Vilchez Gerente and Maricruz Perozo opened Fritos Y Mas in February.
COURTESY FRITOS Y MAS
Among the restaurant’s Venezuelan menu items are tequeños—fried breaded cheese sticks—which are served as a snack.
COURTESY FRITOS Y MAS
Fritos Y Mas brings taste of Venezuela to Tomball area Owners Marcial Vilchez Gerente and Maricruz Perozo opened Fritos Y Mas in February with hopes of delighting the Tomball area with its Venezuelan cuisine. “We noticed the area lacked a Venezuelan restaurant and thought the community would appreciate one,” Gerente said. How it happened After moving to the U.S. in 2017, the couple—
The restaurant boasts a vibrant atmosphere featuring the colors of Venezuela.
The details Fritos y Mas oers a vibrant sit-down restaurant as well as catering and online delivery services. The menu includes a variety of dishes, including Ven- ezuelan hamburgers, hotdogs and breads, as well as tumbarranchos—a breaded arepa stued with a patron’s choice of mortadella, chicken or ham; soft Venezuelan cheese, fresh cabbage, salsa and tomato. Additional menu items include empanadas, tequeños and mandocas. The restaurant’s new seasonal menu oers additional Venezuelan staples, such as pastelitos— deep-fried dough pockets stued with either cheese, chicken, ground beef or pizza lling. Fritos Y Mas also oers Venezuelan sodas.
JOVANNA AGUILAR COMMUNITY IMPACT
who previously owned a restaurant in Venezuela— decided to bring a taste of Venezuela to Tomball. Initially a home-based business, Fritos Y Mas began out of the couple’s home kitchen in 2019 before evolving into a brick-and-mortar eatery earlier this year.
11709 Boudreaux Road, Ste. 160, Tomball www.fritosymas.com
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BY WESLEY GARDNER
Copper’s Cat Commune serves as cat sanctuary Mimi Baker has always held a special place in her heart for animals. In 2015, Baker opened Copper’s Cat Commune in Spring. She said the nonprot operates as a sanctu- ary for ill, disabled, immunocompromised, senior and other “adoption-challenged” cats. Why it matters According to Baker, the majority of the roughly 110 cats residing on the property would have been euthanized had they not ended up at the commune. While Baker said caring for them is no easy task, she said she takes solace in knowing they have another chance at a happy life. The takeaway While Baker said it’s often dicult dealing with the loss of a commune resident, the pain is worth knowing the cat received a second lease on life.
“We fall in love with them. It’s not a cat that just came into the rescue and maybe got sick or whatever. These guys live here for years. ... It’s so worth it.” MIMI BAKER, COPPER’S CAT COMMUNE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Mimi Baker, executive director of Copper’s Cat Commune in Spring, tends to the many cats sheltered at the nonprot.
PHOTOS BY WESLEY GARDNER COMMUNITY IMPACT
SPRING MEADOW LN.
1014 Spring Meadow Drive, Spring www.copperscatcommune.org
The indoor and outdoor sanctuary caters to ill, disabled, immunocompromised and senior cats.
Health Caring is what we do
• Nursing • Nutrition & Food Science • Occupational Therapy • Physical Therapy • Health Care Administration
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