After a closed session on Nov. 18, the Sealy Independent School District Board of Trustees agreed to purchase the Pueblo Motel and its connected corner property for a little more than $300,000, adding to the school district’s property down the Hwy. 90 stretch.
Pueblo Motel was the last piece of property that Sealy ISD did not own that runs Hwy. 90 from North Circle Drive to Tiger Alley.
Earlier this year year, the district purchased the now-demolished pink Best Budget Inn, which sat next to TJ Mills Stadium, and a vacant lot. The motel was also purchased at about $300,000, and the lot for $100,000, Sealy ISD Superintendent Sheryl Moore said.
“We’re looking at building, and we are growing, so it just made sense,” Moore said of the purchases leading up to Pueblo Motel.
Parking for school events, notably during football games, has been burdensome.
“If you’ve ever been here for a Friday night football game, people can’t park on this,” she said, pointing to the uneven and grass-covered vacant lot. “There isn’t nearly enough parking for our football games.”
There is also a back corner, tree-shaded section close to the tennis courts the district is eying for a congregational area. During tennis tournaments, people could spend the day in the shade awaiting choice matches beneath the trees. Tailgating prior to football games could also share the space. Moore said parking would surround the shaded centerpiece.
Once the Pueblo Motel is under the district’s umbrella, plans are endless for district expansion. Moore said there are also ideas for adding more athletic facilities or relocating district offices, currently nestled between Selman Intermediate and Sealy Junior High schools on Tiger Lane, to one of the new property areas.
It took an eminent domain claim — the power vested in a governmental entity to seize private property for public use — through the Austin County Commissioners Court for the district and the Pueblo’s owner to settle on an agreement.
At the earliest, Moore said construction on parking areas could begin in the latter half of this school year.