Saavedra: Keep Key Open

After considering several options, the head of the Houston School District says he'll recommend additional improvements to Key Middle School instead of closing the campus. Superintendent Dr. Abe Saavedra says he'll ask the HISD board tomorrow to keep the school open and approve $3 million in renovations.
"Under the bond program approved by our voters last November, Key Middle School is scheduled to receive among other improvements, new windows throughout the school, a new chiller system for the air-conditioning system. If the school board approves this proposal we'll get started with the work as soon as possible so that everything will be ready when school resumes in August."

Key Middle was closed for a few months this school year. Students were sent to Fleming Middle School while the district dealt with a mold issue. The campus was re-opened earlier in March, but officials say the school still suffers from what they call "damp building syndrome". School board trustee Carol Mims Galloway has led the fight to keep Key Middle School open.

"Closing Key Middle School is not the right thing for our community. Making the school the best it can be for our kids and keeping Key in the center of our community is the right thing to do."

Saavedra had considered sending students from Key to nearby Kashmere High School and shutting down the middle school permanently. Houston Federation of Teachers President Gayle Fallon says that would have been a bad choice.

"I think what he avoided by doing this was a major community uprising because that community has been loud and clear that they don't want their junior high kids on a senior high campus. Having taught in a junior-senior high, I don't blame them. It's a bad situation most of the time."

The school board will consider the proposal to keep the school open at a special meeting at 3 pm tomorrow.
Bio photo of Jack Williams

Jack Williams

Director of News Programming

News Director Jack Williams has been with Houston Public Radio since August of 2000. He's also a reporter and anchor for Houston Public Radio's local All Things Considered segments...